Penske's dealerships are mostly luxury and import stores with a high lease penetration -- 75 percent in the United States and 50 percent in the United Kingdom. The retailer relies mainly on the auto manufacturer's finance arms and they've offered aggressive lease promotions, he said.
Showroom traffic was up in the first quarter, especially in March. And the stores were closing more deals than they did last year, about 35 percent of walk-ins.
Said Penske: "We had real buyers."