Automobile dealer

FILE - Colorado residents bought 3.2% more vehicles in Q1 2021 than in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

Colorado automobile sales were up 3.2% in the first quarter, over Q1 2020, and expected to keep climbing through 2021, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

“The increase would have been higher were it not for the typical lag in measuring registrations,” according to the report called Colorado Auto Outlook, noting registrations can lag 15 days or more behind the actual sale.

CADA tracks new sales through vehicle registrations. There were 64,039 vehicles sold in Q1, versus the 62,051 sold in Q1 2020.

The percentage of “light truck” sales – which include SUVs, pickups and vans – climbed to a whopping 86% of total sales, eclipsing the 83% mark of 2020.

“We are a truck state,” said Tim Jackson, president. “Coloradans like those light duty trucks.”

The report predicts 2021 sales will increase 7.7% over 2020 levels.

“If the outlook for 2021 was only a function of demand, vehicle sales would likely be off to the races in the second half of the year,” according to the report. “But lean inventories will act as a speed bump that will slow the pace of the recovery.”

The inventories are lower because of a microchip shortage, supply-related bottlenecks and the slower pace of the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Good news on the hybrid/electric vehicle front: new registrations were up 58% year-over-year, from 4,573 in Q1 2020 to 7,868 in Q1 2021. But that still only represents about 12% of the overall market share.

Some other interesting tidbits:

  • The best-selling model in Colorado was the Ram pickup (4.7%), followed by the Ford F-series and Toyota 4Runner.
  • Toyota again topped as the best selling brand here, with 14.7% of the market. Ford (10.9%) and Subaru (10.4%) followed.
  • Volvo, Porsche and Tesla showed the largest increase in percentage of sales for cars, while Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Dodge suffered the biggest decrease.
  • As far as the luxury car market, Tesla had the biggest market share (24.9%), followed by BMW (17.2%) and Audi (15.7%).