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Smooth Ride: Local dealerships discuss car trends

October 26, 2011
By MELISSA SCHNEIDER - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

As we ease out of the summertime months of Southwest Florida, our weather was hot, the drinks were cold and the A/C was cranked low, and local residents did anything they could to save some extra cash especially at the pumps.

A large part of the Southwest Florida market, our local car industry has certainly seen a significant trend with gas prices where they currently sit.

"Fuel mileage is always a major consideration when prices start coming up that's what's on folks' minds they go right for the sticker and look at the miles-per-gallon numbers," said John Scanlon, new car manager of Galeana Kia, Galeana Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships of Fort Myers. "We have several full-size cars that get incredibly good gas mileage."

Article Photos

2011 Jeep Wrangler.

"With gas prices on the rise, our gas-saving cars have been flying off the shelves," said Coconut Point Ford general sales manager Bobby Collins. "Yet, we're still selling the same amount of (Ford) Expeditions though. People just love them."

Both the Galeana and Coconut Point Ford dealerships have also seen a trend in used car sales vs. new car sales.

"Used car prices are coming up and new car prices are going down," Bobby of Coconut Point Ford said. "People are trying to make their cars last a little longer, spending a bit more for a new one, rather than have potentially more hassles with a used one."

"Usually through the summertime months, we see a big rise in new-car sales, as we start to clear up for the new model year coming in," John of Galeana said.

When it comes to Galeana and Coconut Point Ford, the dealership managers believe gimmicks and games only go so far, and the two rely more on quality and price for their sales.

"You know, if a gimmick seems too good to be true, it probably is," Bobby of Coconut Point Ford said. "If some dealership is offering to give away a tanker of gas, trust me, you'll be paying for it in some other way. You have to make sure you're buying the car you like with a good resale value a good investment not just because you have a chance to win some type of gimmick. I'm proud to say we have surpassed Honda and Toyota with customer satisfaction, reliability and resale value this last quarter, and have had lots of people trading in their BMWs and Mercedes for Fords lately. We are really tooting our horn."

"Gimmicks like 'free tankers of gas' get people in the door, but some people promise the world, and when you get there, it's just not there," Galeana John explained. "We price-guarantee our purchases and our dealership is the largest Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram on the west coast in inventory and sales. We don't need gimmicks."

With many of the seasonal residents currently up north, dealerships are on the lookout for used-car trade-ins, and both Coconut Point Ford and Galeana Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram are proud to offer some great specials through the summertime months.

"We have a 0 for 72 deal right now on our 2011 37-mile-per-gallon Dodge Avenger 0 percent financing for 72 months. That's a really great savings on interest," John of Galeana said. "Prices on them are right around $16,000, with a 2.4-liter engine, six-speed automatic transmission. It keeps the payment very low and it's a really nice car."

John also shares a first-ever deal on the iconic Jeep Wrangler.

"We have seen a big increase in sales on the Jeep Wrangler, a truly iconic model no one else competes with the Jeep Wrangler. For the first time, there's actually a rebate for the Wrangler," he said. "You get a $1,000 rebate or 0 percent for 60 months. They're actually very luxurious inside now not like the rugged models of the past and get about 20 miles per gallon."

As for Coconut Point Ford, Bobby said his dealership, too, has some great offers.

"We are absolutely extending people's payments not due until next year. Plus, no money down," he said. "But, our greatest success right now is our credit amnesty sale going on. We have been involving more banks that our dealership has exclusive rights to, which allows us to help those who have been turned down at other dealerships or who have recently been going through foreclosure, divorce, bad credit, bankruptcy and other heartaches like that."

Bobby also shares some statistics of the "No. 1 selling truck for 56 years in a row."

"Through all these years, we still have the No. 1 selling truck: the Ford F150. A great truck, a great price," he said.

The Coconut Point Ford dealership is part of the Galloway group, a family-owned dealership since 1927, at 22400 South Tamiami Trail, Estero. General manager Bobby Collins has been in the car business for 28 years, seven years with the Galloway family. For more information, contact Bobby directly at 246-3575, 498-3673, email or visit

Galeana Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and and Ram has been in business throughout Southwest Florida for more than 25 years, at 14483 South Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers and 14475 South Tamiami Trail. New car manager John Scanlon has been in the car dealership business for 11 years, 10 years with the Galeana group. For more information, contact John at 481-2600, 1-877-552-8043, visit, email or find the dealership on Facebook by visiting



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