President is urging consumers to go shopping

Tuesday, September 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

President Bush has said one of the best things you can do to support the economy - is "go shopping." Some of us are starting to dig in to our pockets again, but not as much for big-ticket items.

News on Six reporter Tami Marler says manufacturers and retailers are teaming up to offer deals they hope you can't refuse. For the Minnick family, a new minivan is more than a luxury item, and cost is an issue. Carrie Minnick, Car Shopper: "We've been looking for a while. We're here; this is kind of our first stop, checking out prices. We have two kids and we just got a new puppy; so I think prices are good right now, interest rates are coming down."

At East Tulsa Dodge, the sales team met its goals in July and August... but - like car lots all over the country - September isn't looking as good. Don Ray, Car Salesman: "The recent bombing you know has slowed down the traffic. People are a little bit more apprehensive." Rahsaan Peak, Used Car Manager: "Well I think initially, everyone's focus from September 11 was really on what happened in New York and how that's affected the rest of the country. So that first week was pretty substantial.” Sales on big-ticket items like cars took a nosedive after the recent terrorist attacks. Now local dealerships are hoping national incentives will bring reluctant buyers back to their lots. Peak: "No money down, or no payments for 90 days; also increasing the warranties on our mini-vans for up to 50 thousand miles."

And truckloads of new inventory like high-demand Ram trucks have salespeople working the phones. "We just got a truckload in. The white Ram that you were looking for is in stock now." Car dealers are hoping stronger incentives will bring back more customers like Carrie Minnick. "They're offering you know big rebates; if not, low financing so you know - we're looking to see what we can find." Looking to see what car lots are really willing to make a deal.

Car dealers say, along with special deals like zero-down and zero-percent interest, many finance companies are easing some of their requirements, giving people with weak credit the chance to buy.