Auto Show Aims to Drive Momentum

By Matt Glynn
Published Fri, Feb 3, 2017

Local auto dealers hope to pump things up after a status-quo year of sales in 2016 as they launch the Buffalo Auto Show on Thursday.

Buffalo-area dealers are “very optimistic, very surprised and genuinely enthusiastic” about the sales outlook heading into this year’s show, said Paul Stasiak, president of the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association. “They’ve got an opportunity to still take advantage of a good economy, or an optimistic economy.”

While sales of new vehicles at 99 area dealerships dipped 1 percent last year, falling to 61,758 new vehicles, auto dealers hope to build on what has been a steady rebound since the recession. New vehicle sales at those dealerships that report sales through the association grew 22 percent in the last five years.

Nationwide, the consulting firm J.D. Power believes new auto sales this year could reach 17.6 million vehicles, which would top 2016’s record-setting total of 17.5 million. The National Automobile Dealers Association predicted sales could fall about 3 percent, to 17.1 million. Either way, sales above the 17-million mark are considered robust. And light trucks – a staple of the Buffalo Niagara market, given the weather – are expected to account for 60 percent of the national market.