BOISE, Idaho – Boise is not only the epicenter of Idaho’s automobile boom.
Boize has also been a leader in attracting second- and third-hand cars to the region, a new trend that is drawing interest from a wide range of businesses and consumers, said Craig Kuchar, vice president of operations for the Boise-based National Automobile Dealers Association.
“Boise, like many places, is seeing a lot of demand from both small businesses and the public, who want to see a car or a truck in their driveway,” Kuchak said.
The state’s two largest carmakers, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler, are planning to open new plants in the coming years, and many of the major auto dealerships in the state are planning or building their own operations.
Kuchar said the growth of cars and trucks in the Boise area is creating an economic opportunity for the state.
More: “The auto industry in Boise has really exploded in the last couple of years,” Kachar said.
“And it’s not just about cars.
It’s about trucks, it’s about SUVs, it is about small businesses.
We’ve got an opportunity here to attract people from all around the state.”
Kuchak also said Idaho has become a national model for second-hitter car ownership.
He noted that Boise has had a steady increase in its number of second-heated cars, and it is projected that the state will see an additional 15,000 second-used vehicles sold this year, more than the state has sold in any year since 2009.
Car enthusiasts who have been keeping tabs on the new trend are not surprised by the boom.
“I think it’s just been a natural progression of the state,” said Jim Sartori, a former Boise Police officer who lives in nearby Kalispell.
In Idaho, the average age of first-time car buyers is just 19, and the average car buyer ages 25 or older is just 21.
While the average Idahoan has driven fewer than 10,000 miles since age 18, the state is one of just three states with no cap on how many people can drive each year.
Many of the new cars being built in Boise come from abroad, and Kuchard says Idaho’s export-oriented economy means there is a demand for the cars.
“When you look at the number of people that are buying a vehicle, you’re not only getting one vehicle, but two vehicles, three vehicles, four vehicles, or five vehicles,” he said.
“And we are starting to see that demand coming from the Middle East.”
The new cars and vehicles are getting bigger and bigger.
The average age at first car ownership is 24, and in the first three years of this year’s car boom, the number one seller of new vehicles was a Chevrolet Volt, according to a 2017 report from the National Automotive Dealers Assn.
And Kuchars new study showed that more than two-thirds of Boise residents own their first car, which is the second highest level of ownership in the country.
When it rains…
Boeing, Chevrolet and Chrysler all plan to open second-and-third-hand plants in Boise in the next few years.
“The state is the first to see growth and growth and that’s great for the community and great for jobs, but it’s also great for consumers,” Kochar said, noting that many of those jobs will require the use of electric vehicles.
One of the biggest issues in Boise is the lack of parking for new vehicles.
A lack of car-share programs and parking at public schools has also limited access to parking.
Boeer and Ford are among a number of companies that have been working on a new car-sharing program in the city, which could have a major impact on Boise.
If approved by the City Council, the new program could provide a safe, affordable alternative to public transit, Kuchs study showed.
This summer, Boise will host the fourth annual Motorcycle and Auto Show, the second annual International Auto Show and the largest car show in the United States.
For the past few years, Idaho has been the only place in the world where a new Honda Accord or a Nissan GT-R can be seen.
But in 2018, a Honda Accord will be the only car on display.
There will be another Honda Accord on display on Monday in downtown Boise, but Kucharis estimate that it will be more like the first car on the showroom floor than the last one.
It’s a big deal, Kachars said, and he hopes that the city can benefit from a new model that is more affordable, accessible and convenient.