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California’s 2019 Used Vehicle Market Increased, While New Vehicle Sales are Expected to Remain Strong in 2020

Contact: Jenny Dudikoff
Phone: 916-441-2599

SACRAMENTO, CA – California new vehicle sales closed out 2019 as predicted, with slightly less than 2 million units sold statewide. While market conditions continue to shift throughout the state and national landscapes, 2019 California used vehicle sales remained well above average. According to the California Auto Outlook Fourth Quarter 2019, used vehicles 6 years old or newer increased by nearly 8 percent.

“While there was a slight decline in new vehicle sales in 2019, used vehicle sales increased over the same period, making  it another successful year for California new car dealers and their customers,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Mike Weseloh, owner of Weseloh Chevrolet-Kia in Carlsbad. “With average new vehicle prices continuing to shift upward, it is unsurprising to see this shift toward used vehicles. What remains to be seen is whether this trend continues or reverses during 2020.”  

While new vehicle sales are expected to dip in 2020, the expected sales will exceed the depths of the Great Recession in 2009 by more than 780,000 units, totaling about 1.82 million this year. This is an expected decline by 3.7 percent from 2019, totaling a smaller decline than the 2018 to 2019 drop.  

2019 experienced a noteworthy increase in electric vehicle sales, with hybrids and electric vehicles making up more than 13 percent of the total vehicle market share. Most prominent in the space was an increase in the hybrid vehicle market share from 4.2 percent in 2018 to 5.5 percent in 2019. 

Additionally, the Honda Civic retained the top spot as the best-selling model in California for 2019, while the Toyota Camry came in second.  However, Toyota remained the California market leader at 17.2 percent market share while Ford held on to that title nationally at 13 percent.

The California Auto Outlook Fourth 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.


For more than 95 years, CNCDA has represented the interests of California’s franchised new car dealers. CNCDA members are primarily engaged in the retail sale and lease of new and used motor vehicles, but also provide customers with automotive products, parts, service and repair.  Our members sold more than 2 million new cars and trucks in 2018 and employ more than 140,000 Californians, significantly contributing to our state’s economy.  As the nation’s largest state association of franchised new car and truck dealers—with nearly 1,200 members—CNCDA serves its members by providing legal compliance and legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy. 

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