California is the largest automobile purchasing state in the nation. Brian Maas, Director of Government Affairs, California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), says thirteen percent of all new car sales are made in California.  In a 16 million new car sale year, that is 2 million cars sold in California alone.

California sales are sliding:

In March 2009 JD Power, Power Information Network (PIN) says there were 2.9 million sales nationally for the entire 2009 year. Thirteen percent of that number would be 285,000 vehicles sold as of March 31, 2009. There were 50,000 vehicles less sold in California than should have been to claim a thirteen percent marketshare nationwide.

That’s just the start of the problem!

Sales tax is dropping in California because of the lack of car sales:

This information is for the first quarter of 2009, doesn’t include April:

Sales Jan-Mar 2008 – 406397 vehicles x $28,715 vehicle price X 7.25% =
$816 million in sales tax

Sales Jan-Mar 2009 – 231,726 vehicles x $27,700 vehicle price X 7.25% =
$465 million in sales tax

That is a loss of $361 million dollars in sales tax in cities around California for the first quarter of 2009 ALONE!

First Quarter sales for 2009 – down 43%
First Quarter sales for 2008 – down 18%

About 90 car dealers a month have been going out of business nationwide. According to the California New Car Dealer Association (CNCDA) since January of 2008 California has lost 170 dealers, about 11 car dealers a month in California. California is losing about 13 percent of the dealerships nationwide.

Which manufacturers have been hit the hardest in the first quarter of 2009?

Chrysler  was down 75.6% the first four months of 2009

Toyota still owns the most marketshare for California sales, but Toyota lost more marketshare in the first quarter of 2009 than Ford did.

Who did well?

Jaguar gained 15% marketshare
Smart, MINI, and Subaru all did well.

April sales nationwide are bad, how is California looking for April?

Because the CA government raised the sales one percent the California New Car Dealers think many people who were going to buy in April purchased in March.