The gift cards are part of a city effort to boost its economy and make local dealerships more appealing, said Pat Kelly, general manager of Tracy Chevrolet. He said customers will be rewarded for buying here instead of going out-of-town.
Kelly said that while he’s taken a few calls from people who were interested in the gift cards, as of Wednesday afternoon, he hadn’t sold anything. He said he remained optimistic that as more people hear about the promotion, they would buy cars in Tracy.
“We’re hoping this weekend,” he said.
Jeff Morri of Stan Morri Ford said he sold a Ford Fusion Wednesday to a buyer who was specifically interested in the gift card. He said he’s also seen a lot of media attention from newspapers and TV stations, which should help sales perk up in the near future.
“People are just trickling out right now, and we haven’t even started advertising it,” Morri said.
Morri said that in order to help keep that gift card money in Tracy, his company will give buyers an additional 10 percent if they use the card at his dealership. The cards can be used anywhere, though city officials hope people spend them in town.
At Tracy Toyota, general manager David Cauthen Jr. said he was in the midst of a sale on Wednesday. He’s also had more people go to the dealership and call, expressing interest in the gift card offer.
“Traffic, has it increased greatly? No,” he said. “But have there been a couple people that have come in specifically for that? Yes. So we can already see some kind of interest that has been sparked by it.”
Cauthen said that since it’s still the middle of the week, it’s still too early to tell how much the gift cards will help long-term.
While some dealerships are seeing immediate returns, others are still waiting to reap the benefits. Employees from the Mazda and Nissan dealerships said they haven’t had any response yet.
The gift cards will last until 800 are given away, or until Aug. 1, whichever comes first.
• Contact Tracy Press reporter Justin Lafferty at 830-4269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.