Eastern Iowa car dealerships buck national trend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa car dealerships buck national trend

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(JESUP-KWWL)  Nationally, car sales plunged last month -- partly due to the credit crunch.

In September, car sales dropped 34-percent for Ford, 33 for Chrysler, 32 for Toyota, and 24-percent for Honda.

But it's a different story for some car dealerships in eastern Iowa.

Mark Birdnow and his wife June co-own four vehicle dealerships. Birdnow said his dealerships have seen good sales this year, including the last couple of months.

"We're building a brand new dealership at our Cascade location. I wouldn't be doing that if I was afraid of car sales. People need vehicles. There's no way to get around in Iowa if you don't have a vehicle," said Mark Birdnow.

According to Birdnow, trouble on the national level is actually helping Iowans.

"We are able to obtain used vehicles for less money probably than we would have a year ago for the same vehicle. So we're able to offer a lot better deals on used vehicles because the market is down so many other places," said Birdnow.

Manufacturers are also offering better deals, like giving the employee discount price to customers. Birdnow said he's talked to dealers in Florida who really are suffering, but the only major change in our neck of the woods involves financing.

"The only difference they've noticed over the last couple month is it's not as easy to get financing if you owe more on your car than what it's worth," he said.

Birdnow said people are taking more time to buy vehicles and are looking for the best deals, but dealerships who work with customers are still selling cars here in Iowa despite a poor national economy.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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