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Honda sales are refueled

Courtesy of MCT

Central Ohio new car sales rose 16 percent from last year with Honda being the brand leading the way.

According to reports from autoviewonline.com, a site which provides comprehensive monthly auto data, Honda’s car sales totaled 872, followed by Ford with 859 and Chevrolet with 749.

September was a refreshing boost for most Central Ohio car dealers, said Jim Erwin, new-car sales manager for Roush Honda.

“We are happy to see the market is coming back around for the fourth quarter,” Erwin said. “It’s definitely on the up-and-up.”

Ron Lietzke, assistant manager of public relations for Honda of America, said the brand suffered due to earthquake and tsunami recovery.

“Our plants just recently returned to full production in August,” Lietzke said. “We have been able to start replenishing our inventory. We’re still not up to the levels we want, but we’ll get there soon.”

Erwin attributed the boost of Honda sales to the natural disaster as well.

“They couldn’t keep them on the lot, the inventory was so low and the demand was high,” he said.

Lietzke said employees at most plants have worked Saturdays to meet that demand.

“Our associates are working overtime to try and get our supply up in Ohio,” he said. “Which ultimately is a positive thing for Ohio’s economy.”

“With the brand of Honda, we have a very loyal following,” Erwin said. “A lot of them wanted to see the brand get back on its feet.”

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the U.S. auto industry sold more than 1 million cars in September, which is an increase of 9.8 percent from September 2010.

Sales in September were the strongest they’ve been since April and sales for the year are up 10.3 percent compared to a year ago nationwide, according to the NADA press release.

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