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Northern California and San Francisco Bay Vehicle Sales Continue to Outpace the Rest of the State

Contact: Jenny Dudikoff

California car sales estimated to remain steady through the end of the year

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California new vehicle market continues to vary as new motor vehicle sales continue to go up in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay, outpacing the rest of the state through the third quarter of 2017. The two regions have enjoyed a combined 3 percent increase over 2017’s third quarter. And, while Southern California experiences a slight decline in vehicle sales including in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties, the state overall is expected to stay on track to remain above 2 million in annual new car sales in 2017.

According to the California Auto Outlook Third Quarter 2017, the plug in hybrid and the electric vehicle markets continue to see an increase in sales, totaling close to 70,000 registrations year to date, making up 4.5 percent of total new car registrations in California. In contrast, hybrid registrations, excluding plug ins, continue to see a decline in sales making up 4.5 percent of the market, down from 6.8 percent market share just four years ago.

“New car sales remain an important engine for California’s continued economic growth even as sales begin to peak in some markets throughout the state,“ said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Cheryl Bedford of Sunset Auto Center in Lompoc. “While plug in and electric vehicle sales continue to increase, the growth is at a pace far below what’s needed to meet the California ZEV mandate for 2025. We encourage policymakers to take a hard look at how to further incentivize the sales of alternatively powered vehicles or risk missing our targets seven years from now.”

Additionally, as noted last quarter, for the first time in more than a decade, light truck sales exceeded car sales statewide. The same is true for the third quarter of 2017. Light truck sales currently make up more than 50 percent of the new light vehicle registrations year to date, an increase of 4.7 percent from last year at this time.

The California Auto Outlook Third 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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