LIMA — New car sales plummeted in Allen County last month, but officials are confident the numbers will pick back up in the spring.
The number of new vehicles sold in the county was 301 in February, down from 490 in January and 494 in December, according to the Allen County Title Department. That represented a more than 38 percent decline.
New car sales were also down from February 2016. A total of 360 new vehicles were sold last February, meaning sales have decreased by 16.4 percent.
“I think our numbers are down this year from last year because tax returns were a little bit late coming in,” said Mindi Mitchell, assistant manager of the Allen County Title Department. “We just started to pick up here in the last two weeks.”
Mitchell said the Title Department typically sees a rise in auto sales during the spring, as people have more money to spend because of their tax returns.
“March and April will definitely be busier,” she said.
Though sales have dropped through the first two months of 2017, Mitchell said she is optimistic that the market will bounce back, based on activity in recent weeks.
“I think it’s definitely looking up,” she said. “I do see our business increasing both with dealer sales and the general public. We’ve been swamped here the last two or three weeks, so we are increasing in our sales.”
For the second month in a row, the top-selling automaker in Allen County was Honda, which sold 76 new vehicles in February. Toyota sold 43 new cars, while Kia moved 34.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.