Car, truck sales jump in Colorado

New car and truck registrations in Colorado jumped more than 20 percent year-over-year in the first seven months of 2012, outpacing the national leap of 11.5 percent during the same period, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

The association released a report Monday showing nearly 86,000 new cars and trucks were registered in Colorado between January and July 2012, up from about 71,000 during the same months in 2011.

Mike Edwards, general manager for Grand Junction Chrysler Jeep Dodge at 2578 U.S. Highway 6&50, said the trend extends to the Grand Valley, at least at his dealership. Edwards said his sales have been up all year compared with 2011, with current month’s sales about 25 percent ahead of August 2011.

Edwards said he’s not sure what’s contributing to the trend. Grand West Kia Owner Steve Harbour said he believes sales are up 30 percent year-over-year at his 2980 U.S. Highway 50 dealership because people who have been holding onto vehicles for longer periods of time than usual are finally starting to shop for a new vehicle.

“I think people have held off buying to see what the market will do. And now they’re buying cars and we’re happy,” Harbour said.

Harbour said he’s also selling more vehicles because he has more to sell. Kia has increased production, he said, and made vehicles more available to his dealership.

Ed Nielsen, general manager at Fuoco Motor Co., 741 N. First St., said July and its preceding months were good for sales for him for a variety of vehicles. Like Edwards, though, he’s not sure if there’s anything to pinpoint as a driving force behind the bump in sales. Nielsen said he’s hesitant to tie sales to interest rates for car financing.

“Financing’s been great for a long time. There’s nothing new there,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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