California’s new-vehicle market stabilizes, yet exceeds two million units in 2016

Zero emission and plug-in hybrids expect increased registrations for 2017

Sacramento, Calif.—The unprecedented growth of California’s new vehicle market between the years 2009 and 2016 was robust and record-setting. For seven consecutive years, registrations not only increased, but also doubled, from 1.04 million to 2.09 million.

“After years of steady growth, a level off of the market was to be expected. We still sold a near record number of cars in 2016,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson Cheryl Bedford, of Sunset Auto Center in Lompoc. “We expect to sustain this high level of new car sales in 2017, at right around two million light-duty vehicles sold this year. And we expect more and more of those registrations to be for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and plug-in hybrids.”

In 2016, more than half of national ZEV sales and plug-in sales occurred in California, with ZEVs and plugs-ins equaling 3.5 percent of the state’s new vehicle sales. Of those 3.5 percent of alternatively powered vehicles, 76 percent were sold by franchised new car dealers.

With relatively low fuel prices, light truck registrations led the way in driving overall sales up 1.6 percent last year, with that sector increasing 12.7 percent from 2015 to 2016. Despite that growth, new light truck registrations still represent less than 47 percent of the new car market in California, compared with 61 percent nationally. The Honda Civic retained its title as the best-selling new and used car across the state in 2016.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.

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