Md. sales of new cars up for 3rd month

September 21, 1993|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

New-car dealers in Maryland posted a nearly 13 percent gain in sales last month, their third consecutive month of increased activity, according to statistics released yesterday by the state's Motor Vehicle Administration.

Based on registration figures compiled by the MVA, dealers sold 29,767 new vehicles last month, a 12.7 percent increase over sales in the same month last year.

Last month's figures provided further evidence that Maryland dealers could be emerging from a three-year sales slump that has contributed to the demise of at least 20 dealerships. The increase in August followed sales gains of 4.7 percent in June and 27 percent in July.

Bud Schmidt was not so sure, however, that the higher figures mean the floodgates were opening to pent-up demand.

"Generally speaking, things are moving along OK," said the owner of Bud Schmidt Buick on Reisterstown Road in Northwest Baltimore. "I've seen better times, but I've also seen times that were a lot worse."

Mr. Schmidt said the biggest sales activity at his dealership was being generated by the LeSabre, a midpriced family sedan. Although his sales are up, Mr. Schmidt said, he believes consumers are nervous about the economy and are not spending the way they would if they felt their jobs were more secure.

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