(12/03/12) - November will be a month to remember at Applegate Chevrolet in Flint.
"We were up about 15 or 16 percent," said Pete Wills, Applegate general sales manager.
And Applegate isn't alone. Each of Detroit's Big Three had steady months. Chrysler and General Motors say it's their best November since 2007.
Wills isn't surprised.
"We had good incentive programs from the factory. I think the dealers that had some 2012 inventory left over are the ones that did pretty well last month," he said.
Larry Holman says he wouldn't be there without those deals.
"I like to look at the end of the year model sales, see if I can get a pretty good prices because they've got rebates going at that time," he said.
Holman is shopping for a new car for his wife. Possibly a Chevy Cruz.
"She uses it to run around town and that. So I'm looking for the best mileage I can get," he said.
So what sold during this November to remember?
Ford and Chrysler had strong truck sales, while GM's increase was driven by cars.
Whatever the sale, Applegate says most dealers are seeing one thing in common.
"I think the average age of most of the cars on the road are getting old. They're just getting to the point where, you know they want to get something more dependable," Wills said.
When the economy was at its worst, auto sales followed that trend. Now some people have more money, and more confidence in automakers.
"They've come a long way. I think they've improved on their vehicles. They've got a lot of nice looking vehicles compared to what they used to all look like," Holman said.
Wills says that confidence is showing in the sales numbers.
"It's been a good year and it continues to get better, and that's what, that's what we're all looking for," he said.
So what will it take for Holman to leave with a new Cruz, and help Applegate start December strong?
"I've got to clear it with the wife first," he said.
Also helping auto sales in other parts of the country is Superstorm Sandy.
Many people either delayed buying a car at that time, or had to replace one that was damaged.
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