Southwest Idaho car dealers' sales rose 10 percent in May compared with May 2011 as buyers traded in worn-out vehicles for better rides, the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association says.
Dealers sold 4,919 new and used cars, up from 4,454 a year ago.
New cars showed the biggest jump, with dealers reporting a 24 percent to 1,372. In comparison, new-car dealers sold only about 400 vehicles in November 2008, when the Great Recession was deepening. The top new-vehicle dealer in May was Bronco Motors, with sales up 70 percent from a year ago.
Used-car sales increased 6 percent to 3,547. The leader in used cars was Lithia Ford, with sales up 31 percent.
May sales were off slightly from the previous month, which is normal for the industry.
Clearance sales when dealers push to get rid of this year's models to make way for 2013 cars could help boost sales in July and August, said Grant Petersen Jr., Bronco Motors' president and CEO.
Sales figures are based on vehicle registrations.
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