Business

Sales Of New Vehicles Down Sharply In Greater Houston

After a strong increase in May, sales fell by a whopping 26 percent last month.

Car sales took a dip after a strong May.

Total new vehicle sales dropped 25.9 percent from the same month a year ago to 19,830 in June.

Steve McDowell, who collects the numbers for Sugar Land-based InfoNation Inc., said he’s surprised by the change, especially after the strong May, which saw an 18.5 percent increase year-over-year.

“I thought we were seeing some light,” he said. “And that we would not necessarily take off but I thought that we would see some modest growth through the rest of the year.”

The drop comes primarily in vehicles selling below $40,000, though Nissan did have an increase in sales.

But it was the exception: The other brands showing an uptick in sales so far this year were luxury makes like Mercedes, Lamborghini and Maserati.

McDowell said that’s a trend seen since the Great Recession.

“Because I think most of the benefit coming out of the recession has gone to the higher-income segment rather than the middle and lower,” he said.

New vehicle sales had a record year 2015 in Greater Houston.

But McDowell said the oil downturn has had a slowing effect on the recovery, as Houstonians were holding on to their old cars longer.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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