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      Valley car dealerships see growth

      Allan Tamez with Buick GMC Bert Ogden in Edinburg

      While the country is still slowly recovering from the recession, right here in the valley, the car industry is booming.

      New car dealerships are popping up all along the expressway from Brownsville to McAllen.

      After selling cars in California, Allan Tamez moved back to the valley to take advantage of the valley TMs growing car sales business, joining Buick GMC Bert Ogden in Edinburg.

      With little public transportation across the valley, Tamez says it TMs a unique market.

      Here in the valley a vehicle is a necessity, Tamez said. It TMs not a luxury. If you want to work or go to school you need a car.

      Selling 300 vehicles last month, Fiesta Chevrolet ranks in the top 15 for number of units sold in the country.

      Thanks to the recession, Tamez says the car selection in the valley has actually improved over the past five years.

      The good thing about the recession is it gave the opportunity for dealers to buy brands and bring them down into the valley and now you see new car dealerships opening up, Tamez said.

      COO of Payne Auto Group in Weslaco, Steve Yancey says clients from across the border helps.

      We are seeing an influx of business from Mexico into the valley, Yancey said.

      Payne Auto Group is seeing such growth they are expanding, building a new Buick GMC and Chevy dealership due to open in June.

      Ford will also be relocated next door.

      Which in our mind will be the first auto mall that you will find in the Rio Grande Valley, Yancey said.

      But the way dealers do business is changing.

      Car shoppers are doing more research online before they come to the dealership, having a better idea of what type of vehicle they want to buy. And as the price at the pump changes so do drivers shopping habits.

      One of the most common things people say when they trade in they say, because gas just went up, Tamez said. So it TMs very common for people to come in as the fluctuation happen.

      While new technologies like hybrids are increasing sales elsewhere, traditional vehicles continue to outsell.

      I think they are interested in the new technologies but quite frankly I think they are right now sticking with the typical gas and diesel engines, Yancey said.

      Nationwide, car and truck sales for Ford GM and Chrysler were up by more than 5 percent in March compared to the year before.