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Car dealers see small sales increase

After suffering through at least three consecutive months of horrendoussales, some General Motors dealerships have seen a noticeableimprovement this month.

After suffering through at least three consecutive months of horrendous sales, some General Motors dealerships have seen a noticeable improvement this month.

But auto dealers say consumer confidence is still at historical lows, and their trade association is calling on the government to do more to stimulate sales.

John Carmichael, chairman and chief executive of City Buick Pontiac Cadillac Ltd. in Toronto, says his sales were off by a “very, very painful” 25 to 35 per cent in December, January and February compared with the year-earlier months.

“Now March has the appearance of being a bit stronger, and it looks like there’s a bit of a rebound happening. That is encouraging,” Carmichael said in an interview.

Sam Alaimo, president of Roy Foss Chevrolet in Woodbridge, said he has also seen an improvement. With traffic in his showroom up 25 per cent in March compared to February, he expects to sell more cars this month than he did a year ago.

But Alaimo said consumer caution is still apparent. March sales seem to be concentrated on what he called “core vehicles.”

 
 
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