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Savvy shoppers cash in on year-end auto deals

December 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Smart shoppers were out getting deals on cars on New Year's Eve. Both shoppers and dealerships reaped the benefits while saying goodbye to 2010.Louis and Kristin Bourlier signed on the dotted line Friday and bought a new Chevy Tahoe. They were amazed at the great deals.

"I was coming in not expecting to be able to get anything and then the price for it was just amazing," said Kristin.

The last day of the year is one of the best times to buy a new car and savvy shoppers know that.

Cars were rolling off the lots nationwide with sales reaching 11 million vehicles. To entice shoppers, there were thousands of dollars in incentives and interest rates as low as zero percent.

Rydell Chevrolet in Northridge sold 20 cars just Thursday.

"A lot of people were buying cars towards the end of the year for the write-off ability. The incentives always get great at the end of the year based on the volume of vehicles," said Al Azmon at Rydell Chevrolet.

At Galpin Ford in North Hills sales were up 20 percent over the previous year. Manufacturers and dealers want to clear out the 2010 model year inventory as they make way for new 2011 models.

"The incentives all started the day after Christmas and the manufacturers all added an additional trade-in assistance for anyone who trades a vehicle in. Plus we've got zero percent on just about everything," said sales associate Terry Miller.

Despite the recession and rising gas prices, the best-selling cars are still SUVs and trucks.

"The SUV sales are great, particularly crossovers - the Edge and the Flex are selling very, very well," said Miller.

Shopper Paul Parijs said the only problem was that the high demand meant he couldn't get the car he wanted - they were sold out.

"There's a lot of people as you can see around here and the pickings are getting smaller so you've got to hurry up," he said.

Even after the official end of the year, the sales incentives are set to last through the weekend.