Car Sales Show Economy to Bloom ... Slowly

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    Ford's March car sales were up compared to last year, and the increase was even higher in the Dallas region.

    Ford's March car sales were up compared to last year, and the increase was even higher in the Dallas region.

    Fortune O'Neal, the general manager at Park Cities Ford in Dallas, said sales are up, and his sales reps are busy. He said he is optimistic about 2010.

    Ford Reports Sales Increase

    [DFW] Ford Reports Sales Increase
    North Texas dealers saw a rise in sales in March compared to the same month last year. (Published Friday, Apr 2, 2010)

    "We've seen more customers, we've seen more traffic, we've seen more people showing up and, in turn, we've sold more cars from it," he said.

    Nationally, Ford Motor Co. reported a 43-percent increase in sales. The Dallas region, which includes Fort Worth, Waco, Lubbock, Amarillo, Tyler/Longview, Texarkana, Midland/Odessa, San Angelo,  Abilene, and Oklahoma, reported a 49.8 percent jump in sales.

    "Now I've seen some of the customers loosening up, and some of the people that were just coming in for oil changes and, 'We're just going to make it with a few more miles' -- they're coming in," O'Neal said.

    The jumps are in March sales compared to March 2009 sales, which were dismal. But O'Neal said any sales jump is good, especially in this economy.

    Bernard Weinstein, a economist at Southern Methodist University, said he is encouraged by the uptick in car sales.

    "This economic recovery is for real," he said. "It's going to be a slow, plodding economic recovery, but the green shoots are coming up."

    According to Autodata Corp., March car sales were up nationally by almost 25 percent compared to March 2009. Sales for Toyota Motor Corp. were up by 40 percent, and General Motors Co. saw sales go up by 22 percent.