Shutdown cripples consumer confidence in Lowcountry

Thomas Malphrus (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The lot at Luxury Cars of Charleston has been filled with inventory but it hasn't been filled with a lot of customers during October. Managers blamed the government shutdown.

"We're down 30 percent. Mainly it's the uncertainty," sales manager Victor Vitali said.

Luxury Cars of Charleston is a locally-owned dealership selling used cars. Vitali said potential customers were worried about getting financing and wondered whether they'd even get a paycheck.

"Forty percent of our customers are government. A lot of the Navy, Marine guys, they like to come in; they have a need for speed. They have money to buy a nice car and they want something fast. And we have not seen them," he said.

But he said his dealership wasn't alone in the Lowcountry.

"We've all talked. It's a small, little, knit world around here. The dealers are slow," Vitali said.

The best news would be the end of the shutdown, he said. That way, people can take focus off their savings accounts and start looking again at that shiny new Porsche.