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California New Car Sales Decline to 1993 Levels

January 29, 2009

SACRAMENTO – The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) announced that registrations of new cars and light trucks declined 23 percent in 2008, compared with 2007.

California new vehicle registrations totaled 1,447,460 in 2008, levels not seen since 1993. The unprecedented severity of the financial market crisis, global economic slowdown, and an increased unemployment rate are among some of the many barriers to a rebound in new vehicle sales.

"California new car dealers sold 433,570 fewer vehicles last year than the year before – more vehicles than most states sell in a year," said Gary Shipman, CNCDA Chairman, who also operates Toyota and Subaru dealerships in Santa Cruz, Calif. "It's the largest single-year drop I’ve ever seen and the main reason that the communities we serve are starving for sales tax revenue."

The California Auto Outlook Fourth Quarter 2008 Market Report 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 perspective, comparing California nationally; brand scoreboards; a regional recap and more. The complete report can be accessed on CNCDA’s website at

The California New Car Dealers Association is the country's largest state association of franchised new car and truck dealers with over 1,200 dealer members.

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