New vehicle sales numbers fall a bit

New light vehicle sales on Maui for the first nine months of the year, based on vehicle registrations, were down 3.4 percent this year compared to the same period in 2016, according to the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association “Hawaii Auto Outlook.”

The report, released today, showed 5,472 vehicles sold from January to September this year, compared to 5,664 last year. Maui’s sales were second highest in the state compared to the other islands, though about six times smaller than Oahu’s totals.

Toyota remained the top-selling brand on Maui with 24.2 percent of the market share, followed by Honda, 19.5 percent, Nissan, 10.8 percent, and Ford, 8.3 percent.

As for possible reasons for the declines, the report cited the end of pent-up demand for vehicles following the Great Recession sales lows in 2010. The frequency of purchases due to necessity are diminishing.

Interest rates for car loans are creeping up and most consumers have insufficient savings and are focusing their household resources on retirement and rebuilding savings, the report said.