LIMA — At the Lima Auto Mall, Sales Manager Joe Shaw can just smile and say 2013 was one heck of a year.
When he thinks of the possibilities 2014 will bring, Shaw’s smile gets bigger. He’s expecting a really good year.
Last year, trucks and sports-utility vehicles were the big seller, but all car lines did well, he said.
“People need trucks. They use them in this area,” he said.
While people are concerned about gas mileage, the more technology advances the less that becomes a worry. Some beefy trucks get 24 miles to the gallon on the highway and 18 miles per gallon in the city, Shaw said.
“You’re talking really good fuel economy,” Shaw said.
People are getting more for their trade-ins. There’s a big demand for used cars after Cash For Clunkers wiped out the lower-priced use cars and spiked the price of what had been really affordable used cars for a while, Shaw said.
Used cars still are hot and still fetching good prices, he said.
The hot cars at the Lima Auto Mall are new Chevrolet Corvettes, he said.
“I can’t keep them in stock. We are selling them as fast as they come in,” Shaw said.
Cadillac ELRs are the hot electric cars out there, he said. Cadillac Escalade remains a popular choice, too, Shaw said.
“We have a ton of new models. We are anticipating a good year,” Shaw said.
So far, trucks and SUVs are hot and hard to keep in stock this year, he said.
“I normally have 60 to 70 trucks in stock, and I can’t even get up to 30,” Shaw said.
The Chevrolet Sonic is a very affordable car for around $16,000, Shaw said, and it’s loaded with a Pandora Internet radio, navigation, USB ports for an IPod or IPhone and remote start that a person can call from his or her phone to start it, he said.
Cadillac also is working with technology that uses GPS to drive the car. He said it won’t be too long before that comes out.
It’s common for cars today to have GPS built into the dashboard display, he said.
“Technology that comes with these cars today is unbelievable,” he said.
Allan Nott Honda and Toyota
LIMA — Last year was a good year for everyone at Allan Nott, and they expect 2014 to be even better, said marketing manager Tyler Walsh.
“We sold up around 2,800 vehicles,” Walsh said, referring to 2013.
The Honda Accord remains as popular as ever, especially with Hondas being built in Ohio, Walsh said.
“It was the 2014 green car of the year,” he said of the Accord.
The biggest seller, however, remains the Toyota Camry, as it has been for 13 out of the last 14 years when it’s been ranked the No. 1 selling car in the United States, Walsh said.
The staff at Allan Nott is expecting the best year the dealership has ever had in 2014, Walsh said.
“We expect to do around 3,200 units,” he said.
Later this year, Allan Nott will open a building dedicated to Toyotas, and its other building will be dedicated only to Hondas, he said.
When the second building is complete, Allan Nott will hire additional staff to better serve the customer, Walsh said.
Customers continue to look for fuel-efficient cars that are affordable and reliable, he said, and that’s not going to change any time soon. The staff at Allan Nott knows that and are fully prepared to give customers what they want.
Reineke Family Dealerships
Also known as Reineke Ford Lincoln of Lima has taken over the dealership on Greely Chapel Road with success two other dealers couldn’t manage.
Reineke touts itself as one of the premier dealerships in the area. Its staff will tell you the commitment to the customer is second to none. The dealership offers new cars, as well as a service for new and used cars.
In some ways, Taylor KIA is the new kid on the block, but don’t mistake the dealership for anything less than a premier place to buy a car.
With an aggressive advertising campaign and affordable cars, KIAs remain hot cars.
Mike Swaney Buick GMC
WAPAKONETA — Mike Swaney’s dealership in Wapakoneta remains popular for residents of Auglaize County seeking a new or used car. The staff prides itself in making the car buying process easy and hassle free.
The dealership is open Monday through Friday and has a strong inventory of new and affordable cars to choose from.
OTTAWA — Ottawa Chevrolet’s model is “Doing Business the Right Way,” and that philosophy has made the dealership Putnam County’s No. 1 truck headquarters.
Mike Pauley and Jamie Varner joined forces to run a dealership that was dedicated to exceptional service and business. Pauley was the general manager of Ottawa Chevrolet-Oldsmobile from 1999 to 2004.
The staff at the dealership believes in community involvement. In 2011, the dealership sponsored an entire youth little league baseball team that was put on by the Putnam County YMCA.
LIMA — The dealership has had a steady increase in car sales and there appears to be no end in sight, said Vince Downing, the general manager at Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships.
“We’re anticipating a stronger year this year,” he said.
Leasing also is back strong after 2008 nearly killed the leasing program. But people are leasing cars again are happy to do so, he said.
The hot cars are crossovers, the cross between the minivan and a sports-utility vehicle, Downing said.
“What’s nice about crossovers is it gets all age groups. It’s sporty looking, and it sits high enough you don’t have to crawl down into it. Older generations like it because of that,” he said.
Prices are affordable on crossovers, he said, starting just under $20,000 and average around $25,000, he said.
Bluetooth technology with hands-free driving is big.
“That’s very important to everybody,” he said. “You don’t have to hold the phone.”
While the Internet changed the way people buy cars, Downing said Tom Ahl still believes in writing the price on the windshield. People can come to the lot and look around. Ahl also believes in a fair price from the start, he said.
“Everybody gets a fair shake; everybody gets a fair offer,” he said.