Car sales go through the roof despite a weak economy

FRESNO, California

Well it all comes down to supply and demand. And in the Central Valley, there simply aren't enough used cars for sale so dealers are hoping to sell more new cars with financial incentives to help replenish their used car supply.

A report by TrueCar.com released on Tuesday shows that new vehicle sales in the U.S. are up 10% this month compared to September of last year.

Local car dealer Marty Mayfohrt says people who are looking to buy a used car will most likely be out of luck.

"People now keep their cars longer. The Quality is better with all manufacturers. And it's creating an issue from the used car standpoint of being able to get a quality used car under a 100,000 miles that we can retail again." said Mayfohrt.

Mayfohrt is the General Manager of the Madera Auto Center which sells Chevy's and Toyota's. The 2011 Toyota Camry is extremely popular here. Ten have already been sold this month.

Mayfohrt says the recession in 2008 has forced people to keep their cars longer instead of selling them back or trading them in.

"What you're seeing are dealers who are being as aggressive as they can be to fill their used vehicles lots. That's a huge problem right now." said Mayfohrt.

TrueCar.com says domestic car companies are making big strides in 2011, outgaining their imported counterparts in the month of September.

But local economic expert and Fresno State Professor Dr. Bill Rice is quick to point out this is not a growing trend.

"I think this is a blip on the radar." said Rice.

Instead Dr. Rice believes the 2008 recession created a perfect storm of economic factors that has led to the surprising influx of new car sales dominating the auto industry.

"And I think that right now, this month because of the trade ins, because of the value of new cars and dealerships offering the best deals. If it didn't happen this year it definately would have happened next year." added Rice.

Both Rice and Mayfohrt expect the economy to improve resulting in people going back to their old ways of trading in their cars for new ones. And if that happens these new cars should find themselves right back here at a dealership in two or three years as used cars.

With interest rates so low experts say you probably only have until November to take advantage of these deals because once this year's inventory is gone the stellar discounts won't be found with 2012 models.

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