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California Vehicle Market Trending to Fall Below 2 Million Sales in 2019


Contact: Jenny Dudikoff
Phone: 916-441-2599

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California new vehicle market is experiencing a mild decline as we proceed through the second half of 2019. As predicted, sales are expected to decline 4.6 percent overall in 2019. According to the California Auto Outlook Second Quarter 2019, new vehicle sales fell 5.6 percent during the first half of the year, with light truck sales declining 1.1 percent and passenger car sales falling 10.8 percent.  

“As we continue to see the California vehicle market shift, with a slight decline in new car sales, we remain encouraged that numbers continue to stay above historical industry standards. It is not a huge surprise that after years of increased sales, we are seeing the market level off, reflecting the broader economic and political climates. However, there is optimism that used car sales are up, demonstrating that consumers are still purchasing vehicles, but their purchasing behaviors are shifting more towards the used vehicle market,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Ted Nicholas of 3 Way Chevrolet Cadillac in Bakersfield

The used vehicle market for the first half of 2019 remains solid, increasing by more than 5 percent. Light truck sales were up 8.5 percent and passenger car sales were up by about 3 percent from this time last year. 

Regional sales continue to stay on trend with state and national sales. Northern California experienced an overall 5.4 percent decline in new vehicle sales, with a 6.5 percent decrease in passenger car sales and a decrease in light truck sales by 4.5 percent. Southern California experienced more of a decline with a 5.9 percent overall decrease, including passenger car sales falling by 11 percent and light truck sales dropping just 1.4 percent.

 Counter to the overall downward trend, electric and hybrid vehicle sales have experienced growth, reaching 13 percent combined market share for the first half of 2019. Electric vehicles are on pace to exceed 100,000 sales for 2019 and make up 5.6 percent of the market share while hybrids come in with 5.2 percent of the market. Plug-in hybrid sales continue to fall and make up only 2.2 percent of the market share.

New car sales increased for eight brands so far this year, with Toyota and Honda holding on to first and second place as the most popular brands in California. The Honda Civic continues to stay on top as California’s best-selling passenger car and the Ford F-Series comes in as the best-selling light truck.

The California Auto Outlook Second Quarter 2019 Market Report provides comprehensive information on the state’s new vehicle market. 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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