West Virginia auto dealers see boost in sales during COVID-19

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) The nation’s big three automakers are releasing their second-quarter income statements — and the news isn’t good.

GM, for example, lost more than $860 million, but West Virginia auto dealers are not doing as bad as some would think. Many people are still eager to buy a new ride, even during a pandemic.

West Virginia auto dealers like this GM Dealer in Chapmanville has seen a boost in sales.

“It’s getting better. We do have some inventory now, but we sold out and had a couple of record months,” Wally Thornhill said.  

The challenge right now isn’t having enough customers. It’s having enough cars and trucks for those customers.

“A lot of issues on production, you know, we’re on two shifts instead of three, we have cars, our biggest issue now is logistics with the shipping of automobile trains and trucks and everything,” Thornhill said.

Despite those problems, drivers still want a new ride, and it comes with some different buying techniques.

“A lot of it was online which was great, it’s so much easier than face to face because you’re not being pushed,” auto buyer Kimberly Mulgrew said.

“We sent a lot of pictures back and forth by text, I actually sent pictures of my trade by texts, took pictures of the VIN, got all that information,” auto buyer Robert Mulgrew said.

Although those virtual sales have increased by about 10%, customers still come out to the lot to see for themselves. to use a cliché – “they just want to kick the tires first.”

“People still like to drive a car, but we are delivering cars throughout the market, even in Virginia, even in Ohio,” Thornhill said.

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