Selling cars in an economic downturn is nothing new to Bill McCurley. He started his auto sales business in the Tri-Cities in the early 1980’s when interest rates were in the high double digits and there were layoffs at Hanford.
The Tri-City economy is resilient and hasn’t been hit hard in the present recession compared with other communities, said Mccurley. That’s why sales at his dealership in Pasco have remained high.
In 2008, he sold 2,569 vehicles, up 41 percent from 1999 when he sold 1,821 vehicles, McCurley told a crowd of about 75 Tri-Citians at a luncheon meeting Monday sponsored by the Pasco Chamber of Commerce at the Red Lion Hotel.
He said he’s optimistic about the growth of auto sales in the Tri-Cities, which has a strong and vibrant economy. The recent announcement of an additional $2 billion for Hanford Clean-up that may create 3,000 new jobs is a positive development for local auto dealers, he added.
Dealerships create jobs, and car and truck sales help generate sales tax revenue, he said. And part of the sales tax revenue supports services such as Ben Franklin Transit, said McCurley.