auto bailout

bulliver / via Flickr

The month of March is around the corner, and in the minds of auto dealers, it not only brings warmer temperatures, but also customers back to their lots.

And after a few years of hard times and sluggish sales, they’re more optimistic going into their busy selling season.

“The spring season is one of our best parts of the year for selling vehicles. And I think this year we have something to look forward to,” East Syracuse Chevrolet salesman Perry Richardson said at this past weekend’s Syracuse Auto Show. He’s worked the show for two-decades.

Nick Gunner / WNED

There’s a sense that American automakers have turned the corner.

Just ask factory folks from Ford and General Motors, who are showing off their latest wares at the Buffalo Auto Show this week.

Sure, there are new vehicles polished from hood to tire, but this year the event pushes the narrative that domestic automobile manufacturing is back, as both companies’ western New York facilities prepare to hire and increase production.

Daniel Robison / WNED

The General Motors Engine Plant in Tonawanda is opening its doors to the public today, for the first time in eight years. The event is part of the automaker’s attempt to re-brand itself after its bankruptcy and bailout.

“You’re going to have the spouses walking by seeing what their loved ones do for a living. Instead of thinking we’re sitting here playing cards,” says Bob Coleman, shop chairman in Tonawanda.

“A lot of people think we come to work and screw a nut on. It’s not true.”