HONOLULU - The Maui market for new cars and light trucks through May is up nearly a quarter from the same period last year, according to the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association "Hawaii Auto Outlook."
New retail registrations for cars and light trucks on Maui through the first five months of this year is 1,906 vehicles, up 24.7 percent from 1,529 vehicles during the same period last year.
That growth rate was higher than the rate in new vehicle registrations statewide, which was up 17.8 percent for the first five months this year. The report said 18,123 new cars and light truck registrations were logged through May.
Through this period, Toyota/Scion was the top-selling brand on Maui with 26.1 percent of the market share. That brand was followed by Nissan, 16.2 percent; Honda, 12.3 percent; Ford, 12.2 percent; and Hyundai, 4.3 percent.
The growth in new vehicle purchases on Maui and statewide was not surprising, the report said.
"The pieces have been in place for the Hawaii new vehicle market to begin, what is likely to be, a steady and sustained recovery," the report said. "And it would appear as though the recovery process is now under way."
The reasons for the growth and optimism in the market include pent-up demand; an aging vehicle fleet that has forced consumers into the market; the recovering economy; high used-car values leading to good trade-in values; better employment that has allowed consumers to lower debt, leaving them in a better position to buy a new vehicle; and the easing of automobile credit markets, the report said.