With light-truck sales exceeding passenger car transactions for the first time in recent history, California’s new-car sales are again expected to exceed 2 million vehicles in 2017, according to the Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association.
CNCDA released its second-quarter 2017 report Tuesday, showing 1.026 million new-car sales in the January-to-June period, down 2 percent year over year.
That slight decline was no surprise, as numerous experts have been saying that California’s red-hot auto sales market will slow down throughout 2017. Even so, CNCDA projected 2.05 million new-vehicle sales statewide by the conclusion of this year.
That would nearly match 2.09 million reported in 2016. Both fall just short of the all-time record of 2.15 million set in 2005.
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During the depths of the recession in 2009, statewide registrations totaled only 1.04 million.
“As the economy is flattening out after recovering from the Great Recession, our industry is doing the same, but California continues to outperform the rest of the country,” said Cheryl Bedford, CNCDA chairperson.
The quarterly CNCDA report noted that light-truck sales – a broad category that includes pickups, sport-utility vehicles and vans – accounted for slightly more than 50 percent of the statewide new-vehicle market share in the first half of 2017.
The Honda Civic, which was the best-selling new vehicle in California in 2016, continued to stay on top in the first half of 2017, with 44,174 registrations. That easily topped the second-place Honda Accord’s 37,051 registrations. The Ford F-Series full-size pickup truck was the best-selling American-made vehicle in the state, with 27,753 registrations in the January-to-June period.
Toyota remained the state’s leader in overall market share in this year’s first half, capturing 19.9 percent of all new-vehicle registrations, which included fleet transactions.