New car sales remain sluggish in Hawaii after hitting extreme lows during 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, said that new vehicle registrations fell 9.1%.
However, compared to rest of the country, Hawaii’s drop in sales isn’t as bad. National numbers for new vehicle registration are down almost 18%.
“Auto Outlook estimates that 17,400 new vehicle purchases have been postponed since the onset of the pandemic and ensuing vehicle supply shortages. This will provide a boost to sales for an extended period,” wrote author of the report, Jeffrey Foltz.
While there’s a lot of pent up demand, affordability has tanked — and the recent increase in interest rates likely isn’t helping. Tight inventory is also playing a role in sales as it’s difficult for some to get the vehicle they want in a timely manner.
On top of all that, supply chain issues and the microchip shortage are still causing problems and raising costs.
While the report says many families saw an increase in their net worth, the amount of disposable income people have is being used on rising fuel cost and other inflation-related monthly expenses.
Gas prices in Hawaii are at $5.35 as of Tuesday morning, compared to the nationwide average at $3.95.
Meanwhile, hybrid and electric vehicle sales continue to grow in Hawaii. Hybrid vehicle sales are up 8.3%, electric vehicles up 7%, and plug in hybrids up 1.9%.
The outlook notes that a lag in DMV reporting last year — due to the pandemic, impacted Hawaii figures with regard to comparisons with the previous year.
Read the full report below:
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