Consumer Spending

FILE - This Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, file photo, photo shows cars on a dealer lot in Pittsburgh. U.S. consumers cut back sharply in spending on durable goods such as autos in March 2017, leaving overall spending unchanged for a second straight month. The slowdown in consumer activity was a major reason overall economic growth slowed so sharply in the winter. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Colorado’s new vehicle market reversed course in October, declining from a year earlier after increasing in September, according to a report from the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

Colorado dealers sold 16,403 new cars, sport utility vehicles and trucks in October, down 2.3 percent from October 2017, based on new vehicle registrations tracked by information giant IHS. Sales have alternated between increasing and declining every month since June and are down less than 1 percent for the year at 174,137.

The year-to-date decline in vehicle sales resulted from passenger car sales falling 15.1 percent, more than offsetting a 4.8 percent increase in truck and sport-utility vehicle sales. That reflects a nationwide trend in recent years that has prompted auto manufacturers to shift production from cars to trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Nonluxury sport utility vehicles dominate the market, generating 46 percent of sales, followed by pickups and vans with 22 percent and small passenger cars at 13 percent.

“Consumers statewide continue to prefer buying SUVs, pickups and crossover vehicles over small cars,” said Tim Jackson, president of the dealer group. “It appears that rising interest rates, higher automotive prices, along with leaner manufacturer incentives and an oversupply in late-model used vehicles may be factors in the state’s year-to-date outlook.”

Registration numbers tend to lag sales by about two months since buyers have 60 days to register a new vehicle. Due to a change in the software system used by the Colorado Department of Revenue to process transactions, county-level data is no longer available.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook Twitter

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234



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