The massive blizzard that hit the US East Coast could mess up auto sales

New York snow09

Henry Blodget, Business Insider

There's a car under there. We think.

A few weeks after closing out a year of record sales in 2015, carmakers and dealerships are feeling a big chill from winter storm Jonas.

East coast plants - like BMW's Spartanburg, SC facility - cut several shifts during the storm, as did Toyota and GM plants in Kentucky and another GM plant in Tennessee, Automotive News reported.

Southern states experienced record snowfalls, ranging from a few inches to several feet, making roads impassable.

Dealerships, however, took an even bigger hit - missing a Saturday, usually the biggest sales day of the week, and asking workers to help dig out on Sunday.

Toyota alone reported about 200 East Coast dealerships closing their doors during the weekend.

Frank Venti of Toyota of Manhattan told Business Insider that the dealership usually moves 15-20 vehicles on any given weekend.

After staying closed on Saturday during the brunt of the storm, the total sales for Sunday were "one or two, at most," Venti said.

The effects of missing a single but crucial weekend of sales is difficult to measure, though one dealership owner told Automotive News that despite hopes to make up the loss during the week, sales remained slow on Monday despite emailing customers about new discounts.

The Washington DC Auto Show also closed its doors Saturday through Monday while the city removed the 22 inches of snow that has shut down federal buildings and clogged roads.

NOW WATCH: This color-changing shower tells you how much water you're wasting

Add Comment()
Comments ()
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.