Automotive

AUTOMOTIVE: Auto sales up despite recalls

Times Board of Economists - Report from Tim Roper, owner of Smith Motors Auto Group
2014-05-04T00:00:00Z 2014-05-04T07:52:08Z AUTOMOTIVE: Auto sales up despite recallsJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Heavy snowfall and bone-chilling cold hampered auto sales in January and February, but sales are still strong, said Tim Roper, owner of Smith Motors Auto Group, which operates Chevrolet dealerships in Hammond and Lowell.

General Motors overall sales were up 3 percent in March, and Chevrolet sales were up by 4 percent. Roper's dealership group has seen sales jump by more than 10 percent.

"The first quarter in Hammond was the best since 2008," he said. "I think it's going to be a great year."

GM took a hit by having to recall 2.6 million cars, which is a significant number, Roper said. Other automakers have followed suit by going forward with any recalls they may have considered, to get ahead of the problem at a time when GM is attracting so much negative publicity. 

The automaker is however looking ahead, and rolling out 31 new products this year.

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