Used car dealership trends fluctuate amid pandemic

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Local used car dealerships have seen a common trend among their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Sutton, the owner at Depot Auto Sales, said his business saw a spike in sales after stimulus checks were issued out but that he had seen an overall drastic slowdown in business.

“Defiantly since March we have had an overall downturn in sales, even in traffic, we have had less people come in to buy cars, even when you look at last year, there’s less people,” Sutton said.

He also said he had noticed more customers come in who have lost their jobs in need of cars, which he said could be a result of closures amid the pandemic.

“You have people that are getting laid off, hours cut, and it affects the whole economy as a whole,” Sutton said.

Ben Hernandez, sales manager at Solid Gold Wheels, said he speculates that since these times are uncertain that people are spending their money more wisely. Fortunately, he said that his business had not suffered an immense loss in revenue.

“The COVID-19 has not really brought us down, we have been here since 1981, and that’s the reason why it’s not really hurt us,” Hernandez said.

Leticia Palos, a customer at Solid Gold Wheels, said she is making her final payments for a car she purchased three years ago and that it has become difficult to make payments due to the pandemic.

“Right now I’m making about half of what I used to make, I’m a waitress and the having a husband that is sick,” Palos said, “I questioned myself how I was going to be able to pay if money ran out. It took a huge bite out of the little bit of savings.”

Palos said she’s taken up some side jobs making food to stay afloat due to the fact she was out of a job for six weeks and advises people who are in a similar situation to talk to their car dealership to work something out.

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