Economy, incentives make truck buying more attractive - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Economy, incentives make truck buying more attractive

Robert Takase Robert Takase

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MAPUNAPUNA (KHNL) -  What a difference a few months makes.  With gas prices about $2 less than they were a few months ago, more and more folks are doing what was considered unthinkable: buying a full size truck.

Going to the gas station with one of these a few months ago was about as fun as going to the dentist. There's less pain at the pump these days, but other incentives make owning one of these more attractive than ever.

The sound of a monster V-8 engine is music to Robert Takase's ears.  He's looking to buy a full-size Toyota Tundra.

"You can haul stuff," said Takase, who lives in Makiki. "You can use it for work. You can also use it for the family. It has a big enough cab to fit passengers."

His family owns a construction business, so he needs something that can haul a bunch of stuff.

"It has enough size and space that I need for what Iwas looking for," said Takase.

And the recent drop in gas prices helps owning a full size truck easier.

"It's one of the reasons," said Takase. "Not the main reason, but one of the reasons."

Just a few months ago, it took anywherefrom $100 to a $120 to fill up one of these. With gas prices half what it used to be, there are greater incentives to own one of these.

Zero percent interest and end of the year deals help bring in customers.  Sales of Tacoma trucks are up at this dealership, as domestic and foreign auto makers face a 31 to 47 percent drop in sales for November.  Takase hopes quality automobiles help bring customers back.

"It's a good product," he said. "I mean, it's a reliable product. I plan to keep it long term so that's the reason I came."

And as gas prices near the $2 mark, many hope savings at the pump helps resuscitate the automotive industry.

"It's good news," said Takase. "It's good for the economy, too."

Besides monster trucks like this, many car manufacturers' long term strategy is to focus on smaller, fuel efficient vehicles, in case gas prices spike up once again.

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