The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 26, 2013

Automakers enjoy good year of sales

JOHNSTOWN — The numbers are in – 2012 was a great year for auto dealers. After the uncertainty of the 2008 auto bailout, carmakers are enjoying this five-year high in sales records.

“We’ve been increasing (sales) every year, even during the recession,” said Garrett Spangler, sales consultant at Spangler Subaru along Alvin Street in Richland Township. “We do expect an increase in sales in 2013.”

The dealer posted a 26 percent sales increase for last year and it keeps getting better, apparently.

“Subaru’s been a strong product,” he said. “We’ve reached record sales each year for the last four years.”

According to a recent study by Experian Automotive, the age of the average auto is 11 years old – it’s no longer the sleek and clean machine driven off the lot more than 10 winters ago. Many motorists are just one blown head gasket or broken tie rod away from a trip to the local auto dealer.

But Matt Smith, co-owner of Laurel Auto Group, said there’s much more to this windfall of new buyers than simply necessity.

“Interest rates are at an all-time low,” he said. “Fuel economy on many of those cars (is good.) Many manufacturers are offering longer warranties and complimentary maintenance packages, which is allowing ownership costs to be more manageable.”

Fuel economy was a big reason why Jenica Harshbarger of Richland stopped by Laurel Hyundai along Eisenhower Boulevard to trade in her Santa Fe for a newer, smaller Tucson.

The Harshbargers have been buying cars from Laurel sales consultant Harry Santichen since the late 1980s. She said she had been saving for seven years prior to plunking down for her new car.

A big concern heading into 2013 will be the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the last-minute legislation designed to avert the fiscal cliff, which was signed into law at the beginning of the year.

Smith said more tax dollars coming out of each check means less growth happening in the books, but it’s too early to tell how it will affect business.

“I expect for sales rates to improve at a similar rate to what they have as recently as 2012,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything groundbreaking that will change.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads