Cars remain in short supply, but that hasn’t stopped buyers in the state from finding a way to get them, according to the latest Colorado Auto Outlook report from the Colorado Auto Dealers Association.
Colorado consumers registered 63,286 new cars and trucks in the third quarter, up 14.5% from the 55,272 new vehicles registered in the same period last year. In the first nine months of the year, the number of registrations increased by 18.5% compared to 2020 and only 1,600 cars less than in the same period in 2019.
“Demand for new trucks and cars in Colorado remains strong, but future sales and registrations will be hampered by production and supply bottlenecks, as well as a set of factors related to chip shortages, transportation logistics, labor availability and low inventory levels. said Tim Jackson, president of the association, in comments to the quarterly report.
According to the forecast included in the report, over the next 15 months, the main driver of sales will not be demand, but production, which is lagging behind due to continuing shortages of semiconductors and other critical parts.
Colorado’s car registrations are forecast to grow 6.6% by year-end over 2020, implying a very weak fourth quarter. According to the baseline scenario, registrations in Colorado are projected to remain virtually unchanged by 2022, and will grow by only 0.6% by 2021, with the potential to decline by 7.5% if the supply deficit deepens.
With registrations lagging behind purchases by about two months, the numbers in the third quarter do not fully reflect the impact, if any, that the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state due to the delta option could have.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, gasoline prices on the Denver metro rose nearly 55% in September compared to September 2020. But that spike hasn’t changed Colorado’s ongoing downturn in auto sales, which fell from 16.6% of registrations in the first nine months of 2020 to just 14.4% this year.
The share of domestic brands in the Colorado market also declined from 40.6% of registrations to 39.1%, while Korean brands grew from 7.4% of registrations to 8.4% and European brands from 11.1% to 11 , 6%.
Used car registrations, defined as cars under 7 years of age, grew by a comparable 18.2% in Colorado in the first nine months of the year, while registrations for cars between 7 and 10 years old increased by 33%.