Business

April Auto Sales Suggest Consumers Still Bullish, Despite Slowing Houston Economy

Houston-area car, truck, and SUV sales jumped 17 percent from March and nearly 13 percent from April 2014.

 

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Greater Houston auto dealers posted total sales of 35,290 cars, trucks and SUVs in April, according to TexAuto Facts. That’s an increase of 17.2 percent compared to March and 12.6 percent compared to April of last year.

The latest sales numbers suggest consumer confidence is holding fast, despite the effects of lower oil prices on the region’s economy. “I think people have decided that with, with falling oil prices, the sky didn’t fall, and I think there’s some optimism right now,” says Steve McDowell, president of InfoNation and publisher of TexAuto Facts.

Truck and SUV sales continued to power the retail market, accounting for nearly two out of every three vehicles sold in April, largely due to the health of construction tied to activity in the refining and petrochemical sector.

“I think another thing is that we have very attractive pricing right now,” McDowell says. “The average retail sales price dropped below $35,000, and that’s for the first time since last October.”

Nationwide, April sales totaled 1,455,000 vehicles. That’s up 5 percent from a year earlier, but down 6 percent from March.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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