Business

Big Island Sets Pace in New Auto Sales

August 23, 2013, 1:16 PM HST
* Updated August 23, 1:55 PM
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New car sales on the Big Island outpaced the rest of the state for the first half of 2013, according to Hawaii Auto Outlook, a publication of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

While statewide new car sales rose 13.4%, the Big Island’s 16% increase outpaced Kauai, Maui and Oahu in new retail light vehicle registrations for the six-month period in 2013 compared to last year.

That was 2,517 new cars sold on the Big Island in the first six months of this year.

HADA predicts the market to continue growing statewide in the second half of 2013 but at a lower rate of 10.8%. Sales growth will taper, the report said, because pent-up demand from buyers who put off a new car purchase due to the recession has been largely met, and because interest rates are likely to rise.

Toyota is most popular on the Big Island with a 31.8% market share; Honda has 19.6% and Nissan has 11.4%

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Meanwhile, the market share of green vehicles continues to increase in Hawaii, according to HADA. Hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for 6.8% of the market during the first six months of 2013, up nearly 6% from the first six months of 2012.

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So far this there were 1,638 new registrations of hybrid and electric vehicles statewide, which is on pace to set a new annual record.

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