transportation Colorado

Light traffic flows southbound along Interstate 25 as a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Thornton. 

Compared to the first six months of 2019, new car registrations from January through June dropped by more than one-third in 2020.

“Stay-at-home orders, plant shutdowns and extensive job and wage losses have contributed to the lack of sales,” said Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. “On a bright note, Colorado’s new car dealers report an improving demand curve, due to steady gas prices and low interest rates. They are actively selling new cars and trucks online with test drives and home deliveries.”

Overall, CADA reported that there were 102,549 new vehicle registrations in the first half of 2020, compared with 124,835 last year. The difference amounts to a nearly 18% decline across all vehicles, which is slightly better than the country’s 21% drop on the whole. New cars saw the greatest contraction of 36.5% while the used car market also shrunk, with a decrease in sales of 22%.

Certain brands of vehicle did see increased registrations: Lincoln cars rose by 6.4%, RAM vehicles by 4.2%, and Kia by 1.5%. Hybrid and electric vehicles also experienced declines in new registrations, but not as steeply. Hybrid cars saw registrations contract by 3.5% and electric vehicles by only 2.3%.

CNBC reported in July that the average age of vehicles on the road is rising, with one-quarter of cars and trucks being at least 16 years old. The pandemic and resulting economic devastation will likely exacerbate the trend, as people drive their vehicles less and extend the lives of those cars.

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