Is the auto industry headed in the right direction?

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - The automobile industry was hit hard by the 2008 recession. Sales plummeted for several years after the downturn. It appears though, the industry is now in the midst of a comeback. That's the opinion of several Jackson County car dealers holding a sales event this week at the old Singing River Mall parking lot in Gautier.

Seeing would be customers shopping for new cars is like music to the ears of the people that sell them.

"Nationwide, it's going up very rapidly, locally and in Mississippi, we're always lagging behind just a little bit, but it's going up very good for us," car dealer Bobby Dalgo said.

There's one main reason for the turnaround, according to car dealer Randy Workman.

"Lenders have gotten so many different options for the consumer now that it allows them to buy more vehicle for less money," Workman explained.

One of those lenders is Navigator Credit Union where Kathy Scarbrough works.

"We typically do what we can to help people improve their credits score so that they can get that loan that they need for a home or a car," Scarbrough said.

Car dealer Don Daughdrill said there are other reasons for the rebound as well.

"I think that the people are little bit more confident in being able to come out and buy an automobile. I also think they're taking a lot more time when they make their purchases and making decisions that will last for a long time."

There are many factors that drive today's buying habits of the American car consumer: the availability of good credit, safety features in the cars and trucks, and of course room for the kids. But the number one draw can be summed up in one word, technology, according to Workman.

"Well, a lot of it is comfort features. New things such as blind side monitor systems, rear back-up cameras, a lot of safety features are what's capturing people's attention."

And capturing that attention is helping the industry rise up once again.

The car sale at the Singing River Mall parking lot will run through Saturday evening.

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