Increased Used Car Sales

Fresno So they're keeping those inventories well-stocked and competitively priced. Just a few minutes on the lot and more than 300 cars to choose from but Dale Lewis has already made up her mind.

"So I'm excited"

She's taking home this 2005 Chrysler 300 and saving herself some money.

Dale Lewis, Car Buyer: "We can go ahead and buy new but I plan to live another 30 years, so I better pay attention to where my money is going so if I can save a little bit, I will."

Used car dealerships like CarMax in North Fresno are popular with consumers looking to spend a little less by going used.

Steve Hester, CarMax "Buying a used car right off the bat you're going to save the depreciation a car takes when it goes right off the lot brand new."

High gas prices and talk of recession are impacting automakers and dealerships across the country.

General Motors reported a sales decline for the month of February of almost 13 percent while Ford's sales slumped seven percent, Chrysler's tumbled eight percent and Toyota's fell three percent. At Fresno Infinity sales of new cars have remained steady but they have noticed a shift.

Jordan Willis, Fresno Infiniti: "Less people are trading in and going up to new so a lot of customers are actually sticking with the pre-owned vehicles realizing they can get a better value in a used car in these hard economic times."

February sales of used cars at Infinity actually increased by 60 percent, their service department has also been busier.

"We find that most customers are either hanging on to their vehicles longer or keeping them serviced and in good working order."

For Dale Lewis saving money at the dealership means she can splurge someplace else.

"Just from looking at the price here you feel like you're saving? Two-thousand and that's another piece of jewelry for me Hahahhahah, that's how I look at it."

According to CNW Marketing research nationwide, 41.4 million used cars were sold in 2007, compared to only 16.1 million new vehicles.

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