Car dealers have a sales showdown

Friday, September 24, 2004

The fair may have left town, but visitors to Cape Girardeau that pass the Osage Center wouldn't know it.

Motorists passing by those grounds yesterday, today and Saturday will see the spectacle of almost 1,000 shiny new cars parked around the center. They'll also see a flock of salespeople working to sell as many of those cars as possible in the Cape Girardeau New Car Dealers Showdown.

Although a similar event was held two years ago, this year marks the first time that all 11 Cape Girardeau new car dealers are participating in the event.

"It's a party," said Mark VanMatre, owner of VanMatre Buick. He said in addition to selling hot dogs and hamburgers, the dealers are trying to sell as many cars as possible in an attempt to outsell the competition. The dealer that sells the most will have little more than bragging rights, but VanMatre said it's all about sales.

To accommodate this high-pressure sale-off, financiers and trade-in appraisers are also at the event, offering on-the-spot service.

"It's all about who can give customers the best deal," VanMatre said.

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