The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association recently released a report showing a decline in new vehicle registrations and a growing EV market share in the state. Today on Inside Automotive, we are joined once again by Tim Jackson, the President and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, to walk us through more key findings from the report.
Jackson reports that Colorado is down 14.5% locally and 16.9% nationally in the new retail market year-over-year. However, EV sales are “way up” in the state. Sales increased in each segment from 2020 to 2021, including a 53% spike in battery-electric vehicle sales, a 93% increase in pure hybrid sales, and a remarkable 153% jump in plug-in hybrid sales.
The state of Colorado ranks number five in the nation for penetration of battery electric vehicles. Jackson notes that the transition is likely due to the manufacturers’ prioritization of meeting emissions requirements and building EVs.
Jackson projects a “hockey stick uptake on electrified models” and notes that demand is still very high for hybrid cars in Colorado. He reports that Toyota’s RAV-4 SUV, which comes in a plug-in hybrid model, is now the “second place model” in Colorado and has surpassed the Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado trucks.
Regarding the future of EVs in Colorado, Jackson says Colorado may or may not follow California’s lead on banning all internal combustion vehicle sales by 2035, depending on the elected officials at that time.
Jackson predicts that dealers will be able to start marking down MSRPs for consumers if and when inventory levels improve. For now, though, Jackson reports most dealers are still short on inventory, and getting back to a “happy medium” will benefit everyone, including consumers who would be able to both negotiate a price and leave with a car the same day. Ultimately, he agrees that between 30- and 45-days’ supply “would be ideal.”
Ford has announced that dealers will have to take specific steps to become certified to sell EVs, and the deadline to opt-in is now December 2. Jackson says that aside from “pockets of concern,” feedback from Ford dealers is primarily positive. Most dealers he has spoken to are deciding to choose the “Elite” EV certification option instead of the lower tier.
Jackson says dealers need to “play by the rules” and feels that consumers should be able to obtain new vehicles at MSRP and not tens of thousands of dollars over sticker prices. On the other hand, used car pricing is a different dynamic, and many used cars are sold for 40% to 50% more than their original price.
According to Jackson, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association has gotten 26 provisions to franchise law passed within the past two decades and will likely have one more passed “in the near future.”
In terms of emissions, Jackson reports that every new vehicle made today is “99% cleaner” than any car made 30 years ago and says much of the public and the auto industry “forget that.” He indicates that Colorado has the Clear the Air Foundation, which has recycled more than 6,500 high-emission vehicles.
Jackson also cites a recent study that found cars are a “non-factor” in terms of ozone and notes that the solution to improving the environment is getting older, more polluting cars off the road.
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