Baton Rouge auto dealers returning to post-flood normal

    While the first few months of 2019 were not looking good for the national auto industry, sales seem to be picking up for auto dealers in Louisiana with the arrival of tax refund checks, fading fears of interest rate hikes, and the arrival of graduation season as well as model year-end discounts.

    But why is it that Louisiana’s auto industry seems to be gearing up for a better-than-average year while the rest of the country is concerned about slowing sales?

    As Business Report details in a new feature, It has to do with something called the three-year buying cycle and a specific event that interrupted that cycle—as well as much of south Louisiana—three years ago: the August 2016 flood.

    “The flood flipped the market upside down in 2016,” says Eric Lane, president of Gerry Lane Enterprises in Baton Rouge. “While the rest of country had good years the last two years, we were way down. We’ve seen exactly the opposite as rest of the nation. In 2019, we’re beginning to see the market start recovering now.”

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