Skip to content

New car sales remain sluggish in Hawaii after hitting extreme lows during the pandemic

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — The latest Hawaii Auto Outlook report found that new car sales in the state fell in the first half of 2022.

The new report, sponsored by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association, says new vehicle registrations fell 9.1%.

However, compared to the rest of the country, the drop in sales in Hawaii is not as bad. National new vehicle registration figures are down nearly 18%.

“Auto Outlook estimates that 17,400 new vehicle purchases have been postponed since the start of the pandemic and the resulting vehicle supply shortages. This will drive sales for an extended period,” wrote report author Jeffrey Foltz.

While there’s a lot of pent-up demand, affordability has plummeted – and the recent interest rate hike probably isn’t helping. Tight inventory also plays a role in sales as it is difficult for some to get the vehicle they want in a timely manner.

On top of all this, supply chain issues and microchip shortages continue to cause problems and drive up costs.

While the report says many families have seen their net worth increase, the amount of people’s disposable income is being used for the rising cost of fuel and other inflation-related monthly expenses.

Gas prices in Hawaii are at $5.35 Tuesday morning, compared to the national average at $3.95.

Meanwhile, sales of hybrid and electric vehicles continue to grow in Hawaii. Sales of hybrid vehicles increased by 8.3%, electric vehicles by 7% and plug-in hybrids by 1.9%.

The outlook notes that a delay in DMV reporting last year – due to the pandemic, impacted Hawaii’s numbers when it comes to comparisons with the prior year.

Read the full report below:

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.