AUBURN — The sales crew at Center Street’s K & R Auto Sales began preparing for Sunday’s storm at about 4:30 p.m. Friday, moving all 175 cars in its inventory to a back lot.

They were back on duty Sunday night once the plows had cleared what little snow the storm left. They don’t usually work on Sundays, but they’d do anything to be ready for the expected Presidents Day car sale rush.

“You do anything to take advantage of a break in the business,” General Manager John Vallieres said. “We wouldn’t do that normally for a storm. We’d come in Monday and start cleaning. But we wanted to be ready today.”

A ways down Center Street, the sales staff at Rowe Ford were prepared for a hard morning clearing snow that never happened.

“We only got about 2 inches and the wind blew all that away,” Jake Anderson, director of sales, said.

The lot was left with rows of clean, snow-free cars. Instead of spending the morning scraping windshields, Rowe’s staff could get ready selling vehicles. That meant taking phone calls from interested consumers, checking on their inventory and planning for a big afternoon.

“We figure you lose two to three days of business because of a big storm,” Anderson said. “You lose the day before because everybody is getting ready for the storm. You lose the day of the storm, and then you can lose the day after because everybody is cleaning up.”

And that would be a shame on Presidents Day, the day carmakers and dealers consider to be the beginning of their sales year.

“I don’t know if it’s the chicken or the egg, but everybody does more,” Lee Dodge Sales Manager Michael Walker said. “We are trying to get our numbers up and going for the year after slogging through the winter. This is the first month when we can really get our numbers going for the year.”

Everybody gears up for it. Carmakers start rolling out new financing offers and dealers staff up and get ready.

“It’s not just Presidents Day, it’s really the whole week,” Anderson said. “Actually, it’s really the whole month, until Feb. 28. Our specials now run right up until the end of February.”

And the dealers need it, Anderson said.

“There’s a surplus of new vehicles on the market in New England,” he said. “Look at Boston; those dealers were plummeting in December and January. People tend to hold off, and they wait and they wait. And then spring brings a new attitude, and this is when it starts.”

Dealers said they expect Monday’s rush to start later Monday afternoon into the evening.

“People, the customers, have to dig out too,” Walker said.

For customers already thinking about replacing a car, Presidents Day was a great opportunity.

Hunter King of Poland said he’s been communicating with sales staff at Emerson Toyota for the past few weeks, looking for the right pickup truck.

“I have an SUV now, but I want something a bit more utilitarian,” he said. “I’d like to haul stuff around without having to put it inside.”

Gerald and Lisa Brochu of Lewiston didn’t have plans to buy a new car when they woke up Monday morning. They had the day off and decided to bring in her 2013 RAV 4 to Emerson to get the oil changed.

“We just figured while we were here, it wouldn’t hurt to look,” Lisa Brochu said.

They wound up swapping her RAV 4 for a lease on a new 2015 version — and his aging Tacoma truck for a 2012 Tacoma.

“We knew we were going to have to trade in the Tacoma sooner or later, and they offered us a deal,” Gerald Brochu said. “It’s been quite a day, really. And we got a better deal. It’s almost the same payment now on both that we had before on just one.”

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