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Driving our economy
by Chip Latcham
Jul 24, 2013 | 833 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Most stories we have read recently continue to remain positive about the Eagle Ford Shale and its impact on this region of South Texas.

In the Business Sunday section of the San Antonio Express-News, one feature story keyed on the fact that truck sales are booming along with the shale oil play.

“It’s just been incredible,” said one commercial sales and services manager for a Ford dealership in San Antonio. Other automakers report similar gains in new car and truck sales around SA and Houston, and local auto groups said their fleet business has surged alongside the Eagle Ford boom.

A quick check with Beeville auto dealerships revealed similar sentiments. Rick Smith, general manager of Dave Moore Ford, said sales indeed are revving up.

“We are tied for second in our region (Houston south) in truck sales (select dealers in smaller markets),” he said, bringing smiles to the owners and employees.

Multiple oil field companies are making regular purchases of work trucks, Smith said, adding that a “ton of trucks” have been sent to their dealership and are being sold off their lot.

At Aztec Chevrolet, sales manager Charlie Porter said, “Most definitely” there have been increased sales.

“Our service department has outgrown itself overnight,” he said, adding they have had to expand to handle the workload.

“Our inventory has increased 25 to 30 percent (in vehicles on the lot) to meet the demand,” Porter said. “We’ve had to increase all personnel in our departments,” such as sales and service, because of the Eagle Ford.

Larry Garcia, sales associate with Blake Fulenwider Dodge Chrysler Jeep, said that the newest dealership in town is doing “pretty well so far.”

Almost two months in existence here, all has been going according to plan, he said.

Thanks to the Eagle Ford, Garcia said, they have made a few commercial sales and many oil field workers have been looking at and inquiring about vehicles.

Another story in the Express-News Business section Saturday noted that “a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers in western Pennsylvania.”

“Although the results are preliminary, they are the first independent look at whether the potentially toxic chemicals pose a threat to humans during normal drilling operations.”

This is good news, according to experts, for those involved in the boom in gas drilling – even though most South Texas wells are much deeper.

Many here hope the Eagle Ford will continue to have a beneficial ripple effect throughout all businesses, large and small, in our county and region.

As Porter noted, “We hope it lasts for many years – maybe 20 or more” as some are predicting.
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