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Monthly Auto Sales For Greater Houston Tumble More Than 14 Percent

Dealers racked up healthy sales of nearly 373,000 vehicles over the past twelve months. But a lackluster August is making them nervous about autumn.

Auto sales fell 14.4 percent across Greater Houston in August compared to July, according to the latest analysis from TexAuto Facts. Local dealers sold 30,588 cars, trucks, and SUVs last month. That brought total sales for the twelve months ending in August to 372,784 vehicles.

“We kind of plateaued about twelve months ago,” says Patrick Jankowski is senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership. “We’ve been in that range of 360,000 to 370,000 vehicles [sold a year], and it’s kind of hard to maintain that momentum over time. A lot of the vehicles that needed to be replaced have been replaced.”

Jankowski says the fact that sales have remained this strong for this long suggests consumer confidence is holding up well, despite the rising number of layoffs around the region.

“Consumers are still willing to go out and take on a four, or five, or six-year note for an automobile,” he says, “which means they must feel real comfortable about being able to make the payments.”

That said, the sharp drop in last month’s numbers does raise concerns heading into the fall, particularly as August had five weekends for dealers rack up sales.

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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 delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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