GM rebounding nationally, locally

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

While most automobile manufacturers saw a decline in sales in August, General Motors saw the highest increase — out of all the manufacturers — at 6 percent with a 22 percent increase in truck sales.

In Ironton, Bob Clyse Pontiac-GMC also has seen an increase in sales in August over last year.

Doug Higgins, general manager, attributes the increase to the fact that General Motors has not only introduced new designs, the company has refreshed other models and lowered the prices.

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“One thing was General Motors’ restructuring and repricing of vehicles,” he said “They lowered the price on everything in January 2006 and we have a lot of new vehicles.”

GM had much of its increase overseas. The biggest hit this year is the new 2007 GMC Acadia, a crossover vehicle between the minivan and the SUV.

“It’s a good-looking vehicle and ladies like it,” Higgins said. “We’re selling them as quick as we get them and it seems to be a trend nationwide.”

The majority of Clyse’s customers come from Lawrence County and Boyd County, Ky., with some from West Virginia.

Customers bought more of the new Sierra pickup trucks than any other vehicle in the month of August at the dealership, he said.

“It’s all new in 2007. It’s economical and it gets the best fuel economy and horsepower rating,” Higgins said. “What’s neat about that vehicle is that it has fuel management which means that sometimes it runs in four-cylinder mode and sometimes in eight-cylinder mode. It is transparent to the company. They don’t see it, feel it or hear it.”

Higgins said the increased sales are a results of vehicles like the Acadia and Sierra and that General Motors is catering to customers’ needs.

“The quality is as good as anything out there anymore,” he said. “People look for fuel economy, power, room and ride. Most of our vehicles have all of those. They’ve brought out more new products than any other auto manufacturer in the past two years.

Bob Clyse Pontiac-GMC has been operating the business since 1969 and the second generation of the family is running it now. They have more than 200 vehicles both new and pre-owned.

Sometimes, GM will come out with special deals and rebates and sales will usually increase, he said.

“It depends on when they want to sell cars and depending on the inventory,” Higgins said. “It’s the factory driving the market.”