Good auto sales news a holiday gift for Fairfield

By From page B8 | November 18, 2012

It’s that time of year again, time for the famous Black Friday sales events that kick off the holiday shopping season.

With major retailers such as Sears opening their doors as early as 8 p.m. Thursday, Black Friday shoppers may be performing a “turkey trot” to stores as they finish Thanksgiving dinner and run to get in line early.

Retail growth in California fell further than the nation as a whole during the Great Recession but may outpace the nation going forward. That certainly seems the case in California’s new vehicle market, which is forging ahead with a 26.3 percent upward swing in the first nine months of 2012, higher than the 14.5 percent increase seen nationally, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.

Chrysler was the brand with the largest percentage increase during the first nine months of this year with a 109.4 percent change in sales through September 2012 versus the same period in 2011.

Although you most likely won’t see Black Friday events at local auto dealerships, there is always a push to reduce current model year inventory around this time of year. The California New Car Dealers Association forecasts project 1.585 million new light vehicle registrations for the year in California, an uptick of 22.8 percent over 2011 but still well below the average annual of 2 million vehicle sales between 2000 and 2006.

A successful fourth quarter push by auto dealers could help boost the annual totals. Who doesn’t love a new car, especially one gift wrapped as a holiday present?

With sales of Chrysler heating up in California, it’s easy to understand why Chrysler is back in town – and Jeep, Dodge and Ram are coming along for the ride. Chrysler, one of the “Big Three” domestic auto retailers, actually has a long history in Fairfield, with Stan Motors located on North Texas Street in the heart of town. With the development of the auto mall after the turn of the millennium, the previous Chrysler/Jeep dealership relocated to Auto Mall Parkway, only to fall victim to the Great Recession.

“We are excited about the addition of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram to Momentum Auto Group,” said owner Rahim Hassanally. “We are embarking on a new marketing campaign and we are going to paint the town Momentum Blue.”

The Nov. 15 opening of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram allows them to join Infiniti, Nissan, Toyota and Scion, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and Volkswagen as part of the Momentum family. Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram will occupy the former Mazda building at 2595 Auto Mall Parkway. The new dealership will allow the Momentum Auto Group to increase its employee count to approximately 275 workers.

In addition to the Momentum dealerships, Fairfield Auto Mall also includes Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Acura, with Subaru, Kia and Chevrolet just a short distance away via Interstate 80.

Unfortunately, it appears that Mazda will no longer be a part of the Auto Mall. When we checked, there were a few vehicles remaining to be sold but the brief two-year stay seems to be over.

Momentum Auto Group and Solano Town Center (the mall) are teaming up to help local transportation issues that always seem to appear during the holiday shopping season.

“Monday through Christmas Eve, Momentum Auto Group and Solano Town Center will provide shuttle service to and from Momentum dealerships on Auto Mall Parkway to the Red Robin location at Town Center,” said Monty Stephens, general manager of Solano Town Center.

The shuttle service is designed to help customers who want to complete some holiday shopping while they are having vehicles serviced.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and whether you are shopping for a car, electronics or new clothes, we think you can find it in Fairfield this holiday season.

Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or email at [email protected] or [email protected]

Brian Miller and Karl Dumas


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