2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

New vehicle sales off to best start since 2004

Published: May 9, 2013, 7:13 pm, by Wayne Heilman

Auto Dealer File PhotoAfter a slow start, new vehicle registrations with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office are off to the fastest start in nearly a decade.

Registrations, which generally happen about 45 days after a new vehicle has been purchased from a dealer, are one of the best measures of local vehicle sales. Registrations for the first four months of the year are up 20.9 percent from a year ago to 8,180, the most for the first four months of the year since 2004.

Registration numbers started the year barely ahead of last year’s pace in January and February before jumping 33.7 percent in March and 31.1 percent in April, both compared with a year earlier.

The biggest percentage gains so far this year have come in upscale brands: Lincoln is up 94.4 percent Volvo is up 80 percent and Buick is up 50 percent, but together the three brands account for fewer than 200 registrations. Among top-selling brands, Ford is up 16.9 percent, Toyota is up 20.9 percent and Honda is up 33.1 percent. The only brands posting declines during the same period: Acura, Chrysler, Hyundai, Mini Cooper and Suzuki.

To see monthly data on the Gazette’s website go to: http://gazette.com/business/economic/new-vehicle.