Colorado car buyers continued their steady push for all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the first quarter of 2022, although overall sales were down due to lack of supply and soaring interest rates, according to an analysis of car dealerships.
Tesla sales were up 38% from the first quarter of 2021, leading the charge of Colorado’s combined electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle sales to 8.6% of total new vehicle registrations through present this year. That’s a sharp increase from 5.6% in the comparable 2021 period, as Colorado rules push dealerships to electrify transportation and reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. .
Overall, 2022 light truck, SUV, and car sales in Colorado fell 10% from the prior year period to about 58,000. That was a significant drop, but not as severe as the nearly 15% national decline for the quarter, according to registration analysis by the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.
“Lean supplies have pushed prices up significantly and higher interest rates are boosting monthly payments,” according to the quarterly Colorado Auto Outlook report. “Higher wages have helped, but monthly vehicle loan and lease costs as a percentage of disposable income have increased in recent months.”
CADA Chairman Tim Jackson said, “Price increases, higher interest rates, tight supplies and higher gasoline prices have put pressure on the overall market.”
In further evidence of a dented market for cars, the analysis indicates that some nameplates’ market share in Colorado skyrocketed even though they lacked attractive new models or meaningful incentives. Manufacturers like Hyundai, Tesla, VW, Mazda and Ford won sales in Colorado because cars were available, while generally popular competitors lost simply because they didn’t ship enough vehicles to batches. .
Colorado is on pace to sell about 242,000 light trucks and cars this year, down about 1,000 vehicles from 2021, according to Analysis Projects.
Colorado dealers would sell more if they could get them, Jackson said. “Right now, no vehicle model can be built and delivered fast enough.”
And Colorado has its own challenges, Jackson added — crime.
“With Colorado ranked first in the nation for new car thefts and highest for catalytic converter thefts, we are in the toughest time producing new cars to replace those that are disabled or stolen,” did he declare.
In other highlights of the report:
- Pickup trucks and SUVs continue to dominate the Colorado market, at 86.3% of the light-duty market, with less than 14% of sales going to cars. Wolf sightings are more common in Routt County these days than sedan sightings, with 97.8% of new vehicles registered in Routt being pickup trucks or SUVs.
- Colorado’s low-emission vehicle sales, at 8.6% for the quarter, are impressive, but still lag green-looking competitors like Oregon, at 9.4% of the market; Hawaii, 10%; Washington, at 10.7%, and California, the opinion leader, at 17.8%.
- Delays in the pandemic and supply chain recovery put Colorado’s records from 2020 to 2022 at 92% of pre-pandemic numbers, slightly above the recovery for the nation as a whole. Florida came out on top in vehicle sales, reaching 103% of pre-pandemic levels, with Georgia coming closest at 95%.
- Individual vehicle models that gained popularity in 2022 compared to 2021 were led by Tesla’s Model 3, Hyundai Kona, Volkswagen Tiguan and Hyundai Tucson. The vehicle labels that have lost the most market share are the Ford Explorer, Subaru Impreza and Subaru Ascent.
- The most popular individual models by market share are, unsurprisingly, all pickups and SUVs. The Ford F-Series held 4.4% of the state market share in the first quarter, followed by Ram pickups at 4.1%, Toyota RAV4 at 3.9% and Toyota 4Runner at 3.2% .