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California New Vehicle Registration Declined 7 Percent in First Quarter

May 17, 2007

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Motor Car Dealers Association (CMCDA) announced that registrations of new cars and light trucks in California declined 7.0 percent during the first quarter of this year versus a year earlier. Consistent with these results, the outlook for the state’s new vehicle market this year is somewhat cloudy, according to CMCDA’s new quarterly report, California Auto Outlook First Quarter 2007.

The report predicts that new light vehicle registrations (including retail and fleet transactions) in the state will decline 3.9 percent for the entire year. There are a multitude of reasons for the projected decline in registrations. Among them are high fuel prices, elevated consumer debt levels, negative savings rates and a housing market that is in the midst of a prominent correction.

“Although we expect a decline of almost 4 percent for the whole year 2007 verses 2006, registrations are still historically strong,” said Peter Hoffman, CMCDA chairman. “It appears that there are opportunities in the shift from large SUV’s, to compact SUV’s and in the drift back to cars from trucks. If drivers want to reduce their gas consumption and lessen the environmental impacts of their transportation choices, the increasing number of fuel efficient and alternative technology vehicles our manufacturers are producing should provide a strong motivation for consumers to visit California new car dealerships.”

California Auto Outlook First Quarter 2007 provides comprehensive information on the state’s new vehicle market with charts and graphs. The report includes: a segment watch, including the top 10 models in each segment; a market tracker, showing losses by brand and the brands benefiting from those losses; a market perspective, comparing California nationally; brand scoreboards; a regional recap and more. The complete report can be accessed on CMCDA’s Web site at www.cmcda.org.

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