The worst hurricane to hit the tri-state region has a silver lining in its aftermath. While Superstorm Sandy wrecked an estimated 250,000 cars and trucks in the Northeast — at least 190,000 of them in New York and New Jersey — new Ford and Subaru car sales in Rye are skyrocketing to replace those destroyed in October.
By Jon Craig
The worst hurricane to hit the tri-state region has a silver lining in its aftermath. While Superstorm Sandy wrecked an estimated 250,000 cars and trucks in the Northeast — at least 190,000 of them in New York and New Jersey — new Ford and Subaru car sales in Rye are skyrocketing to replace those destroyed in October. People can also look at these guys to buy the best Honda cars around them!
Honda and Toyota benefited most, according to auto industry experts; the industry as a whole is expected to sell more than 15 million vehicles this year. November was the best sales month since the recession of 2008.
“What’s really driving sales and making this by far the best time in years to buy a car is the incentives,’’ said Bernard “Bernie” Curry, owner of Curry Automotive, which operates eight car dealerships in Cortlandt, Scarsdale, and Yorktown.
Tony Gualdino, a salesman at Rye Ford Subaru, said some car dealers in New Jersey lost their entire inventory of unsold cars during the storm. He noted that many potential customers from as far away as Rockaway and Oceanside, N.J., have been showing up in the Rye showroom to shop for cars to replace ones totaled by trees or flood damage.
That combined with the fact that Ford is offering new, stylish hybrids with space-age features including hands-free Sync phones by Microsoft, spell a major uptick in sales of 2013 models, Gualdino said.
The car that is getting the most attention is the Ford Fusion. It has the hood of a classic Mustang, but is equipped with all sorts of new features including Sync phone and illuminated door sill plates. It is advertised as getting 47 miles per gallon on the highway.
Equally popular among aficionados of gas-saving hybrids is the Ford C-Max, which looks like a Focus converted into a small wagon. Its fuel-economy ratings are 47 miles per gallon on the highway as well as around town.
The recent sales uptick followed October losses blamed on Hurricane Sandy. Ford lost an estimated 25,000 in sales that month, but many of those deals were finalized in November. And Honda reported its sales jumped by 33 percent last month.
“The post-Hurricane Sandy sales for November look quite strong for the auto industry,’’ said Arthur C. Wheaton, a Cornell University extension expert. “It is difficult to quantify the impact of the hurricane devastation, but auto sales in the region and the nation have been robust.”
Honda, which has rolled out popular new Accords, boasts double the inventory it had a year ago, when the auto giant couldn’t supply its American dealers because of natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.
“All the manufacturers are fighting for market share, which puts the consumer in the driver’s seat,’’ Curry said Wednesday.