ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — With a third round of stimulus checks being put into the hands of millions of Americans across the country, some people are opting to buy a car.
The afternoon of Saturday, March 27, business was booming at Haley Toyota in Roanoke.
“Business has been really, really good surprisingly,” said Chuck Baker, General Manager.
With customers in cubicles, lines in the showroom, and negotiations in review, employees were kept fairly busy.
It may have looked like a typical Saturday at a car dealership before the coronavirus pandemic, but Baker says sales have been up.
“Despite all of that, people are out spending money,” Baker said. “People are out buying cars.”
A big reason for that is stimulus checks.
Baker says sales have been up by 22% since January, and they’re projected to keep growing well into April.
“The stimulus checks also have helped, giving people some down payment to work with,” said Baker.
Used cars are also a hot commodity among potential buyers.
“It’s been a big boost for used cars,” Baker explained. “Our used car business is way up, and we’re actually starting to see a shortage in used cars available also.”
For the local dealership, the biggest issue hasn’t been the lack of customer, but the lack of inventory.
“With this semiconductor shortage, that’s affecting the whole industry, not just Toyota. It’s affecting all car dealerships. All electronics. Our inventory is probably 60-percent of what it normally is,” said Baker.
No matter the hardships, Baker says he’s glad he’s been able to keep his doors open.
“We’ve been open the whole time, which we feel very fortunate. A lot of businesses haven’t been.”
Haley Toyota is located at 1530 Courtland Road NE in Roanoke.