Tight inventories and COVID-19 restrictions left Hawaii auto dealers spinning their wheels in the third quarter as sales plunged 15.9% amid a struggling economy.
New vehicle registrations are now forecast to end the year off 20%, with the fewest sales since 2012, according to a report due out today from Hawaii Auto Outlook. Auto sales are expected to rebound 6% in 2021, the report said.
“There are some encouraging signs pointing to a recovery in the new vehicle market, but until the virus is no longer a factor, significant economic headwinds are likely to prevent sales from taking off,” Jeffrey Foltz, editor of Hawaii Auto Outlook, wrote in the quarterly report. “Assuming there is not a major spike in the virus that would lead to the recurrence of widespread business closures, the market should move higher next year.”