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California Expected to Sell More Than Two Million Vehicles in 2017

As car sales decline throughout the nation, California still on track to stay above national trend

SACRAMENTO, CA – California’s new motor vehicle sales are projected to remain stable through the year, with more than two million units expected to be sold in 2017. While the nation experiences an overall decline in sales, California continues to stay above the national decline, selling more than one million new cars through the second quarter.

“As national sales go down, California also sees a slight decline for the first time in years, which is to be expected. As the economy is flattening out after recovering from the Great Recession, our industry is doing the same but California continues to outperform the rest of the country,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Cheryl Bedford of Sunset Auto Center in Lompoc. “However, California car buyers have purchased more plug in hybrids and electric vehicles year to date, increasing market share to 2.1 percent and 2.5 percent.”

For the first time in recent history, light truck sales have surpassed car sales statewide, making up slightly more than 50 percent of the market share in California. However, the national market share of light truck sales is 63 percent, demonstrating distinct market differences among California and the rest of the nation.

Light vehicle sales among Northern and Southern regions of the state also varied in the second quarter, with a 2.5 percent increase from last year in Northern California and a 2.3 percent decrease in Southern California. The San Francisco Bay Area in particular experienced a 1.9 percent increase, demonstrating the consistent healthy economy of the region.

While California and the nation continue to move forward on climate change policies specific to greenhouse gas emissions, it’s important to note that used vehicles more than ten years old experienced a notable increase of more than 3 percent from 2016, climbing to 53.3 percent, demonstrating that consumers are holding on to older cars longer.

The California Auto Outlook Second Quarter 2017 Market Report provides comprehensive information on the state’s new vehicle market with charts and graphs. The report includes: a segment watch, including the top five models in each segment; a market perspective, comparing California nationally; brand scoreboards; a five-year sales trend comparison and more. The complete report can be accessed on CNCDA’s website at:


California Auto Outlook, is produced for CNCDA by Auto Outlook, Inc., an independent research company specializing in the analysis of statewide and regional automotive markets. When reporting these auto industry trends please acknowledge the Data Source: IHS Markit.

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