TUPELO – Twice a year, for more than 20 years, at least two South Tupelo automobile dealerships would take all their new vehicles across town to the Tupelo Furniture Market and host a big sale.
For Memorial Day and Labor Day, the dealerships – Tupelo Auto Sales and Dossett Big 4 – would spend at least a week at the market. Sometimes, they were joined by other dealerships.
But this year, for their annual RACE (Regional Auto Clearance Event) sale, the dealers are staying on South Gloster Street. And Dwayne Blackmon Chevrolet also is participating.
“What’s happened is that South Gloster has opened up with the five lanes, and traffic is way up,” said Rudy Dossett Jr. “And by doing this, we save the expense of taking the vehicles over there and having to set up everything.”
Dwayne Blackmon, whose Chevrolet dealership is taking part for the first time, said celebrating the opening of South Gloster Street coincided with the arrival of 2014 model year vehicles as well.
“You’ve got new cars arriving, older models moving out … it’s an exciting time,” he said.
Rebates and other special incentives also are being offered by automobile manufacturers, providing additional incentives to potential shoppers.
U.S. auto sales were up 14 percent in July, putting light vehicles this year on track to finish at their highest point since 2007.
Low interest rates have continued to boost new-car sales as well.
That’s just fine with Hoyt Sheffield, owner of Tupelo Auto Sales, a Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep dealer.
“I remember selling as many as 30 cars a day, but we’re probably not going to see those days again,” he said. “But business is good, and I think we have the finest vehicles on the road today.
“And having the sale at the dealerships means you can come back into an air-conditioned showroom, too.”
Dossett, which sells Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Honda, said the dealerships haven’t abandoned the Tupelo Furniture Market site completely.
“Oh, we’ll be back in the spring,” he said. “We just wanted to try this back at our dealerships for the fall sale, to mark the five-laning of South Gloster and to show that we’re still doing plenty of business down here.”
The Regional Auto Clearance Event began Friday and runs through Labor Day.