The economic slowdown fueled by the response to the coronavirus pandemic caused March new vehicle sales in Northeast Ohio to fall by more than 8 percent compared to a year ago.
Dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio sold 18,921 new vehicles last month, down 8.2 percent from 20,600 in March 2019, according to figures released Tuesday by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association.
Upcoming sales are also expected to be impacted, the association said.
“Coming out of the Cleveland Auto Show, which ended March 1st, the momentum for new motor vehicle sales was high,” Louis A. Vitantonio, association president, said in a news release. “As the middle of March approached, sales of new and used vehicles slowed drastically. Dealerships have scaled back their operations in compliance with the governor’s orders which will limit April sales and beyond.”
Many dealers will remain open for vehicle servicing and sales, Vitantonio said.
Summit County new and used vehicle sales fell in March, too, the Northeast Ohio Auto Dealers Association reported. Sales in the county totaled 1,874, down 38, or 2%, from 1,912 a year ago.
Used vehicle sales in Summit County totaled 3,528, down 512, or 12.7%, from 4,041 sales in March 2019.
Regional vehicle sales since Jan. 1 total 56,609, down 1.1% from 57,231 for the same period in 2019, the GCADA reported.
Chevrolet was the region’s best-selling brand with 2,941 new vehicles sold in March, followed by Ford with 2,159 sales, Honda with 1,629 sales, and Toyota with 1,543 sales.