CQ consumers are revving up record sales, but why?
PETER Scherer feels a resurgence in confidence, a positivity in the town, which has translated to one of the most successful Augusts on record for his business, DC Motors.
An incredible 170 vehicles rolled off the showroom floor at the Rockhampton dealership, and at an average of $33,000 each this equates to about $5.5million in sales.
The owner-operator attributes the phenomenal month to the strength of Central Queensland's four economic pillars; farming, beef, education and health, all of which he said are performing positively right now.
On top of this, the businessman said a start on the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine, plus the potential for a Rockhampton-based FIFO hub, are also bolstering the market.
"Those four areas keep our town solid, and mining adds to that boost," Mr Scherer said.
Mr Scherer said the farming community had driven the more high-end purchases and contributed to a record month in Ram sales.
But the "mas and pas", the young families, are also buying up smaller SUVs such as the Hyundai Tucson, the Honda CRV and the Subaru XV.
"They are cars that are blizting it for me," Mr Scherer said.
"The ones with a bit more ground clearance and a bit more all purpose, which SUVs are built for that."
Mr Scherer said spikes in car sales often indicated confidence in other sectors throughout Central Queensland, which benefited from the flow-on effects of a stable and strengthening economy.
"To the small fish and chip shop and the grocery stores, they get busier, we end up getting busier because all the staff do well and eventually they buy a car," Mr Scherer explained.
Complementing the economic drivers are the 88 staff employed at the Rockhampton business, which Mr Scherer points out is 10 more employees than this time last year.
"People don't realise that DC Motors is one of the larger employers in Central Queensland," Mr Scherer said.
He explained the service department was their largest, but the parts, sales and administration teams all worked in synergy to deliver to their customers.
Like many local businesses, DC Motors suffered during and in the wake of TC Debbie and the subsequent major flooding in Rockhampton earlier this year.
But as the business bounces back, Mr Scherer expects the dealership will cross the 2017 finish line strong.
"This time of year it tends to ramp up," he said.
"Rates have been paid and people have got their tax back and it's business as usual.
"And in the last six months we aren't impeded by floods ore cyclones, so there's nothing to get in your way.... I am predicting it to be really good business."
For the past 3.5 years Mr Scherer has owned and operated the 50-plus-year-old local business.
Hailing from Adelaide, he has grown to love Rockhampton and said he is excited to expand the business in his new hometown to further create a flow-on effect to other operators.
"A brand new Nissan showroom is in the pipeline," he revealed.
"We have redeveloped our Mercedes Benz showroom, it's happening now over the next couple of weeks.
"And we use all local people where we can."
Popular cars for Rocky customers:
- Ram: 2017 auto 4x4 RAM 2500: $157K drive away
- Honda CRV: 2017 RM Series II 2WD VTI wagon, $29,990
- Subaru XV and the Hyandai Tucson: Prices not listed, call for details