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Strong SUV, truck demand offsetting falling new car sales in Northeast Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 11, 2017

SUVs and light trucks remain in hot demand in Northeast Ohio, while new cars continue to slump.
Overall new vehicle sales climbed last month from a year ago, the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association reports. Sales are also up strongly for first three months of the year in a 21-county region of northern Ohio.
New vehicle sales totaled 23,535 in March, up 6.6 percent from 22,085 a year ago. Since Jan. 1, sales in the region total 61,744, up 6.5 percent from 57,983 for the first three months of 2016.
New SUV and light truck sales totaled 11,088 in March, up 36.6 percent from 8,118 a year ago.
New car sales fell from a year ago to 12,447, down 10.9 percent from 13,967 in March 2016.
Summit County new vehicle sales were also up strongly last month, according to the Northeast Ohio Automobile Dealers Association.
New vehicle sales in the county totaled 2,279 in March, up 109, or 9.3 percent, from 2,086 sales a year ago. Since Jan. 1, Summit County new vehicle sales total 5,968, up 5.5 percent from 5,656 for the same three-month period in 2016.
“March sales have certainly bucked the national trend here in Northern Ohio,” Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, said in a statement. “We continue to see growth over the previous year, however our 2017 forecast anticipates a slowing down of sales by year end. Trucks and SUV’s continue to support struggling car sales as fuel costs remain low.”
 Chevrolet remained the best-selling brand for the first three months of the year. Chevy’s March sales totaled 3,806, followed by Ford at 3,683. Honda was the region’s third best-selling brand, followed by Toyota.

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