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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hawaii auto show attendance up 3.9% from last year

Advertiser Staff

Attendance at last weekend's First Hawaiian International Auto Show was up 3.9 percent from the 2009 event, the Hawaii Automobile Dealers' Association said today.

The increase followed an 8.2 percent increase the year before, according to HADA. Motor Trend magazine, which produces the show and 23 others across the country, does not release actual attendance figures for the shows.

Stan Masamitsu, HADA president, said the increase in attendance is another sign that the long slump in local car sales is poised for a turnaround this year. HADA is forecasting a 9.7 percent increase in new car sales this year statewide.

The forecast is supported by evidence of a rise in auto loans. "As the largest automobile bank lender we definitely have seen sales activity picking up over the last three months via our auto dealers," said First Hawaiian Bank President Bob Harrison.