Car dealerships see booming year after summer hail storm
COLORADO SPRINGS -
It's been six months since that massive hail storm in Colorado Springs, and we're still seeing cars on the road with dents and dings. It's an ugly sight for car owners, but a beautiful one for both body shops and all the car dealerships in town.
Body shops like Bumper Doc have been going non-stop ever since, and they're booked well into next year.
"It's definitely been record months for us. During that July and August time period we were coming in at 5:00 in the morning to get paperwork done to stay ahead," said Art Hanson at Bumper Doc.
But not all cars were repairable.
"I've never seen so many cars totaled -- completely totaled -- because of the hail damage," said Bob Penkhus with Bob Penkhus Mazda. Because of that, many people had to buy new cars. "We were slammed big time," Penkhus said.
"We normally sell 250 cars, but since then we're closer to 350 cars a month," said Todd Hilleboe at Liberty Toyota.
Because business has been so busy this year, dealers have been struggling to keep cars on the lot.
"We had truck loads of cars showing up every week," Penkhus said.
Things are finally slowing down a bit, but the hail damage push was so big some dealerships are already way up in sales for the year.
"It's gone from probably being up four to five percent in June to up almost 11 percent for the full year," Hilleboe said.
"The Mazda store on Powers is up a hundred units over last year. We've experienced quite a bit of sales," Penkhus said.
If you think car dealerships doing well doesn't affect you, think again. That's a lot of sales tax revenue coming in and that's why the city will be posting a surplus of about $7 million this year. It's something Colorado Springs residents will be voting on in April because of the TABOR law.
To give you an idea how well car dealerships were doing after the hail storm, a Liberty Toyota salesman said he sold more than 40 cars in one month.