Local News

Shoppers look for value at auto expo

Posted February 12, 2009 6:02 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Potential car buyers hit the N.C. State Fairgrounds on Thursday for the 22nd North Carolina International Auto Expo. Among the brands featured at the four-day event are Toyota, Mazda, Lexus, Chevrolet, Ford Dodge, GM and Ferrari.

Capital Mazda salesman Jim Ricker said shoppers were looking for value.

“They’re looking for miles per gallon, total value for purchase dollar,” Ricker said.

Many shoppers said they wanted good gas mileage.

“Who wants to be filling up their gas tank all the time?” said shopper Shelia Fox, of Sanford.

Fox said she went to the show to see “what’s available.” For her, trunk space was very important, too.

“We need room for at least two golf bags,” Fox said.

Those with good credit were having a much easier time getting financing for vehicles than people with not-so-great credit, said George Anderson, Wake County New Vehicle Dealers Association president.

“We’re having a very hard time getting them financed. We’re still able to, but it’s very difficult,” Anderson said.

Credit is easing up somewhat and it is getting better every week, Anderson said.

"Hopefully as credit loosens up in the entire country that will help us also," he said.

Anderson, who is also the president of Sir Walter Chevrolet in Raleigh, said dealers are interested in moving the models they have.

"I think you'll find that dealers are interested in negotiating right now," he said.

The Wake County New Vehicle Dealers Association spearheads the Auto Expo each year. Proceeds from the event go to 30 local charities.

The expo is being held Thursday through Sunday. Tickets prices range from $6 for adults ages 13 to 60 to $4 for children 6 to 12 years old. Those over 60 years of age get in for $5, and children under 6 are admitted for free.

This is the second car show in Raleigh in as many weeks. Last week, an international car show was held at the Raleigh Convention Center. It did not feature American manufacturers Ford and GM.