Hawaii car sales up 4%

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - First quarter new vehicle registrations were 4 percent higher than at the same time last year, the Hawaii Auto Dealers Association reported Friday.

"The market's rebound has been more gradual than anticipated," the association said in its quarterly forecast report.

The association now forecasts 36,000 vehicle sales this year, which would be 6 percent better than last year when sales improved only 1 percent.

That would still be about half of the 70,000 new cars and trucks sold in 2005. Sales have been declining ever since then.

First quarter sales fell for luxury models like BMW, Mercedes and Lexus as consumers stretched out the useful life of the cars they have.

There were double-digit percentage gains for Ford and other American models as well as for Kia and Mini models.

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