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Colorado Springs auto market bounces back from 2 1/2-year low in August

September 12, 2017 Updated: September 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm
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FILE - Already sold, new Subarus sit on a lot at Heuberger Motors in Motor City on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)

The new car and truck market in El Paso County bounced back in August from a 2½-year low in July, bucking a nationwide trend of declining sales, the county Clerk and Recorder's Office reports.

The 2,250 new vehicles registered last month were up nearly 20 percent from a year earlier, and the count resumes a trend of registrations fluctuating in a narrow 144-vehicle range every month this year but July. Registrations in July fell to 1,716, the fewest in any month since February 2015.

Registrations in the first eight months of the year were up 8.2 percent from the same period last year, to 17,371, but might struggle to match the 10,485 registered in the final four months of 2016, after a massive July 28 hailstorm triggered a wave of vehicle sales. Registrations have averaged 2,171 a month so far this year, or 450 a month fewer than in the last four months of 2016.

Monthly totals for all of the top 10-selling makes except Nissan increased from a year ago, with Chevrolet, Subaru and Hyundai accounting for more than half of the monthly gain. Chevrolet registrations surged 64.1 percent to 233; Subaru increased 40.7 percent to 266 and Hyundai rose 64.4 percent to 120.

Nationwide, new vehicle sales have declined every month this year and were down 1.9 percent in August from a year earlier to 1.48 million with an 8.5 percent drop in car sales wiping out a 2.4 percent increase in light truck sales. Sales in the first eight months of the year are off 2.7 percent to 11.4 million, with an 11.3 percent decline in auto sales more than offsetting a 3.3 percent rise in light truck sales.

The registration numbers don't exactly reflect sales by local dealers, as buyers have up to 60 days to register a new vehicle in the county where they live, not where they bought it. The numbers don't include heavy trucks, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles or trailers.

Statewide new-vehicle registration numbers for August weren't available yet. But in July, they rose 26.8 percent to 18,686, say data compiled by Experian Automotive for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. Registrations for the first seven months of the year rose 7.8 percent from the same period last year to 118,937. Used-vehicle registrations were even stronger, surging 29.7 percent in August from August 2016 to 20,134 and increasing 13 percent so far this year to 129,604.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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