TodayApril 15, 2022

California is still buying new cars ~ and it won’t stop

No matter what type of powertrain, or size of vehicles I can predict that new car sales in California will go up in the next quarter. The Campfire in Northern California and the Woolsey fire in Southern California destroyed thousands of vehicles. It’s a sad statistic, but it is real. Thankfully, we can replace vehicles.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California new vehicle market is expected to close out the year at elevated sales levels. While there is a slight decline from recent years, new vehicle sales will be at the fourth highest total during the past 11 years and 2018 sales will likely exceed 2009 levels by over 900,000 units.

According to the California Auto Outlook Third Quarter 2018, California light truck sales continue to increase, by 5.2 percent from 2017, while passenger car registrations have fallen by 10.6 percent below this time last year. While California sales reflect the national preference for light trucks over passenger cars, the trend is more pronounced across the country with US light truck sales increasing by 7.6 percent and US passenger car sales falling by 13.2 percent.

“While California new vehicle sales are expected to be slightly below 2 million units this year, we continue to be encouraged that California sales are steady and remain at elevated levels. Even if the market is slightly declining, we need to keep a perspective that this is a natural trend for a market that has seen significant, consistent growth over the course of several years,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Taz Harvey of Dublin Mazda.

The electric vehicle market share continues to increase throughout the state including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric, making up 11.2 percent of the market, year to date. This is a 4 percent increase during the first nine months of 2018. However, not every powertrain is seeing this increase, hybrid vehicles continue to see a decline year over year, from 4.6 percent in Q3 2017 to 4.1 percent year to date.

electric vehicle market share continues to increase throughout the state

electric vehicle market share continues to increase throughout the state

Additionally, 13 of the top 20 brands in California saw light truck sales increase, paced by Volkswagen with an increase of more than 100 percent compared to this time last year.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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