New Car Sales Start To Bounce Back In Colorado

David Zalubowski/AP
A Honda dealership in Littleton, Colorado.

New vehicle registrations are off 16.5 percent through the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to a new report from the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

But that's a significant increase from earlier this year when registrations were off by 30 percent.

The market is weathering two significant factors, said Tim Jackson, CEO of the automobile dealers association. First, the cratering economy has reduced demand. Second, the suspension of production lines across the world earlier this year has led to ongoing inventory shortages.

"We only have 10 to 30 percent of what we typically have in inventory on our lots. So the lots are mostly barren," Jackson said. "We've never experienced anything like this, and I hope we never have to again, frankly. But we've weathered the storm pretty well." 

The lack of new vehicles has pushed consumers into the used market, Jackson said, pushing up prices by about 5 percent and leading to inventory issues there as well. That market is off by 18.1 percent through August, he said.