El Paso County's new car and truck market heated up in September to the highest level in 11 months, the fifth monthly gain in the past six months, according to a report from the county Clerk and Recorder's Office.
The 2,743 new vehicles registered last month were up 14.8 percent from September 2016 and the most since October, when local dealers reaped a windfall of sales from a massive hailstorm in July 2016.
Registrations in the first three quarters of the year were up 9 percent from the same period last year, to 20,114, but might not be able to sustain the pace needed to match the 8,095 vehicles registered during the final quarter of last year. Registrations have averaged 2,235 a month this year, or 463 vehicles less than the pace of the final quarter of 2016.
Monthly totals for the top 10-selling makes increased from a year ago with Ford and Jeep accounting for nearly half of the monthly gain. Ford registrations jumped 38.1 percent from September 2016 to regain the top-selling make ranking with 348 vehicles, while Jeep registrations surged 42.6 percent to 211.
Nationwide, new vehicle sales in September were up for the first time this year, rising 6.1 percent to 1.52 million, with a 12.4 percent jump in new truck sales more than offsetting a 3.3 percent drop in new car sales. Sales in first three quarters of the year are still down 1.8 percent to 12.9 million as a 10.5 percent drop in new car sales more than wiped out a 4.4 percent gain in new truck sales.
Statewide new-vehicle registration numbers for September weren't available yet. But in August, they were down 0.5 percent from August 2016 to 18,470, according to data compiled by Experian Automotive for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. Registration totals for the first eight months of the year were still up 6.6 percent to 137,407. Used vehicle registrations in August were off 1.8 percent from August 2016 to 19,421 but remain up 10.8 percent from a year ago to 149,025 in the first eight months of the year.
"Colorado consumers continue to show demand for new cars and trucks, especially trucks, crossovers, SUVs, pickups and minivans," said Tim Jackson, president of the dealers group. "Thanks to the state's low unemployment and low fuel prices, along with affordable interest rates and readily available credit for most buyers, overall new vehicle registrations continue to show strong support."
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.
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