Colorado’s new vehicle market slowed in March for a second consecutive month after setting annual sales records in each of the past two years, according to a report from the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.
The number of new vehicles registered statewide in March fell 3.1% from March 2018 to 16,654 with passenger car numbers down 13.7% and light trucks flat compared with a year earlier.
Among the top six-selling brands, registrations in March declined for Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep and Toyota with Honda and Subaru posting small gains.
Registration numbers in February were down 7.8% from February 2018, following increases in four of the previous five months.
Registrations for the first three months of the year are off 0.9% from the same period a year ago to 47,910. An 8.6% drop in passenger car registrations more than offset a 1.2% increase in light truck numbers, which include sport-utility vehicles. SUVs make up 57% of all new vehicle registrations so far this year.
“Heading into the spring selling season, we see Colorado’s new vehicle registrations staying flat but still outperforming the nation,” said Tim Jackson, president of the dealers association. “While consumer demand for new vehicles remains strong, higher interest rates and rising new vehicle prices are stemming that demand. Meanwhile, Colorado consumers are benefiting from the state’s strong economy, labor market, wage growth and consumer confidence.”
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 not yet available.