“The car dealerships of Tuscarawas County are the primary public transportation of the county,” said Glenn Mears, owner of the Parkway dealerships in the county. “Hence, determining us as essential businesses was the right thing to do.”
“We’ve kept hundreds, and soon thousands of vehicles, safe and we strive to keep our customers the same as they buy their vehicles and get them serviced.
“Business was mightily impacted near the end of March but has gradually picked up,” Mears said. “It is now being done more than ever digitally, the safest and quickest way to get people what they need. Pick up and and delivery are becoming much more the norm. Cleaning of the vehicles, using steering wheel covers, gloves, face masks, social distancing are all standard. Likely, our business has changed forever and I’d argue it’s for the better of our customers, associates and vendors. As the current saying goes, ’We’re all in this together.’”
Mears owns the Parkway Auto Group of Parkway Ford Chrysler, Parkway Detailing, Parkway Honda, Parkway Nissan and Parkway Suzuki. The businesses are located along Commercial Parkway in Dover, with the exception of Parkway Suzuki, which is located in New Philadelphia.
Ferris Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Toyota on Wabash Avenue NW in New Philadelphia is the other primary dealer for new cars and pickup trucks in the county.
Chuck Nicholson GMC Inc. on W. Broadway Street in Dover sells new pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, along with used vehicles.
There also are several dealerships providing service and selling used vehicles throughout the county.
Tuscarawas County Clerk of Courts Jeanne Stephen tracks the number of vehicle sales recorded through the county Title Office that she oversees.
In 2019, a total of 123 new cars were sold to county residents in January and 108 in 2020.
In 2019, there were 394 used cars sold in January and 395 this year.
People purchased 31 new pickup trucks in 2019 and 42 this year, along with 146 used pickups in 2019 and 106 this year.
In February, 21 people bought new pickups in 2019 and 20 this year. A total of 105 used pickups sold last year and 99 this year.
There were 74 new cars sold last year, soaring to 95 this February. However, the number of used cars sold plunged from 391 last year to 333 this year.
In March, there were 140 new cars sold in 2019, dropping to 94 this year. A total of 607 used cars sold, plunging to 384 this year.
New pickups fared a bitter better, rising from 34 last year to 43 this year. For used pickups, 169 sold in 2019, falling to 110 this year.
April was another tough month, with 111 new cars sold last year, but only 60 this year. Used car sales fell from 414 to 203.
New pickup sales rose from 31 last year to 38 this year. For used pickups, purchases fell from 122 to 71.
Statistics for May covered from May 1 to 20. New car sales tallied 90 during the period last year, with 84 this year. The used car total fell from 266 to 235.
Sales of new pickups rose to 28 this year from 26. Used pickups slipped from 91 to 83.
Stephen said that beginning March 17, the Tuscarawas County Commissioners closed the County Office Building to the public. The Clerk of Courts Title Office continued to work regular hours with a split staff rotating days at work to assure social distancing. Car dealers dropped off their titles in a drop box inside the courtyard door at the title office. Staff assisted the public via phone calls and mail. Employees worked 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Full staffing resumed May 26 with the statewide opening of the Deputy Registrar’s offices and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The Uhrichsville Title Office inside the Deputy Registrar’s Office – the one stop shop in Uhrichsville – also had been closed since March 17.
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