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Winter slows but doesn’t stall new car sales

By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer

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Northeast Ohio’s severe winter weather slowed but did not reverse new car and truck sales in February.

Sales of new cars and light trucks in a 21-county area rose 2.1 percent in February to 13,608 compared to 13,332 a year ago, the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association reported.

“While weather did play a role in keeping numbers from growing as much as we anticipated, it was still a strong month overall for auto dealers in Northern Ohio, which is good news for our local economy,” Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland dealers group, said in a statement.

New vehicle sales in Summit County fell 1.6 percent in February compared to a year ago, according to the Northeast Ohio Auto Dealers Association based in Akron.

Sales in February were 1,346 compared to 1,368 in February 2013.

But used vehicle sales in Summit County were up strongly compared to a year ago, rising 6 percent to 2,794 compared to 2,637 in February 2013, according to the Northeast Ohio dealers group.

Ford was the best-selling brand in February in the 21-county Northern Ohio area with 2,540 new vehicles sold. Chevrolet was second with 1,951, followed by Honda at 1,011 and Toyota at 965.

The top-selling new model in Summit County in February was the Ford Escape, with 53 sold, down 5.4 percent from 56 sold a year ago.

The Ford Fusion came in second with 40 sold, followed by the Ford F-150 pickup truck and Honda CR-V tied for third with 37 sales.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.


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