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PHOENIX -- Pent-up demand and new products are driving sales at car dealerships across the Valley, a local sales director said.

"For the month of May we were up 16 percent and some of the dealerships have been seeing numbers upward of 35 percent, 25 percent growth," said Jason Church, sales director at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix.

During the recession and recovery, Church said people held on to their cars and the national average age of a vehicle on the road is now 10-years-old.

"In Phoenix, when the heat starts getting up there, that car reliability isn't there so new car sales do pick up and we've seen that across the board."

Church said new buyers are more interested in fuel-efficiency and technology than they were before the recession.

Church also said manufacturers have changed in the last few years and are now focusing more on building relationships and brand loyalty with customers rather than just being focused on selling one vehicle.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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