HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — May wasn’t a good month for most auto makers. Overall, sales dropped 2.9 percent, the biggest decline since February 2010, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Chrysler and Hyundai, however, saw increases. Chrysler sales were up ten percent over May 2010. Hyundai sales were up 21 percent over the same time last year, largely due to the popularity of the Elantra and Sonata.
“Every month is a new record,” said Cliff Dexheimer, Gary Rome Hyundai General Sales Manager . “They’re up, up, up. Their market share is greater than it’s ever been.”
Tami Bailly of Granby just bought an Elantra. Her daughter encouraged her to buy one and she’s now encouraging her father-in-law to do the same. She says a price tag of under twenty thousand and a high safety rating are big pluses. She says the biggest reason, though, is gas mileage. The Elantra gets 40 MPG on the highway. The Sonata gets 35.
“What you save on gas is what you can put toward your payment,” says Bailly. “I thought it would be a really good deal.”
“We’re trading in trucks and SUV’s like crazy,” said Dexheimer. “Folks are saving a hundred or more dollars a month just on their fuel bill.”
While demand isn’t a problem, Dexheimer says supply is. The dealership’s new car lot is almost empty. Bailly is actually on a wait-list for her Elantra. Dexheimer says Hyundai is thinking about adding a third shift at its plant in Alabama. It’s an enviable position for a company to be in these days.