Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 9:02 pm
In 2014, the car sales industry saw its highest numbers in almost 10 years and the success is only expected to increase during the next several years.
Dino Velazquez, who owns four dealerships in the area, including a brand new Volkswagen dealership, said last year was his best year ever for sales.
“The market went to nothing in ’09 during the bankruptcies of the automobile companies and the pent up demand has been tremendous,” Velazquez said. “People are having to buy because they’ve been putting it off longer than they normally would, so that’s why the pent up demand has made such a big difference in our production last year, and the year before.”
Velazquez said that demand is going to continue for the next several years as people get caught up before the market levels off.
Meanwhile, car companies are enjoying the uptick in sales and boasting record numbers of sales.
Jeep reported its best year in history for 2014, selling more than one million vehicles.
“The (Chrysler) Jeep Wrangler, for instance, is about 43 percent better than last year. It’s up the highest of any vehicle in the market,” Velazquez said. “But the Jeep brand, itself, is up dramatically.”
In all, about 16.5 million cars were sold in the U.S. in 2014, the industry’s best year since 2006, according to Cars.com.
With crude oil prices going down, it’s also helping alleviate hesitations to purchase larger-sized SUVs and trucks.
The top three selling vehicles were the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram.
According to Forbes.com, light truck sales were up 9.6 percent through November 2014 and large sport utilities were up 12 percent through November 2014.
However, sedans continue to be a majority among the top 10 best-selling cars. The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla were all on the list. The Ford Fusion replaced the Ford Escape on the list, reducing the list’s number of SUVs. In 2013, the list included the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape.
Velazquez and his wife Ann said they are excited about the opening of their new dealership and hope to add to the increase of sales with Volkswagens.
Velazquez said they have been trying to bring a Volkswagen dealership to Dothan for more than 20 years, and he says by the grace of God they’ve finally been able to open the doors of their new location on Ross Clark Circle.
The dealership had a soft opening on Jan. 2 and intends to have a grand opening celebration on March 10.
The couple also owns Dothan Kia just down the road from the Volkswagen location, Dothan Chrysler on the north side of the circle and Enterprise Chevrolet.