Car sales down in Charlotte as drivers hold on longer

The car Jennifer Lawrence calls Excalibur has some battle scars, after 11 years on the road. Its floor mats are stained, its fenders dented. The hood needs a new coat of paint.

At one time, Lawrence thought about trading in the Honda Accord for something newer, sportier, greener. Then she lost her job. Now, as the search for full-time work approaches 11/2 years, she's accepted the fact that she'll drive Excalibur for a long time.

"Getting a car right now would be past foolish, and I'm not going to do it," said Lawrence, 58, an engineering contractor who lives in south Charlotte.

If the cars passing by on your commute seem a little shabbier these days, it's probably because they are. Consider this: The total value of vehicles registered in Mecklenburg in the year ending in September was about $6.3 billion - nearly 9 percent less than the year before, county tax officials say.

Read the complete story at