SACRAMENTO – The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) announced that first quarter registrations of new cars and light trucks increased 19.8 percent from the year-ago period. 

The California increase outpaced the national increase of 15.5 percent. March sales were up over 30 percent versus last year. Following a down year in 2009, when California new-vehicle sales dropped to almost 1 million units, it appears that the state’s new-vehicle market has turned the corner toward recovery.   

“Pent up demand and manufacturer incentives have returned new car buyers to the market.  The sales increase is good news for our employees and has started to generate much needed sales tax revenue for our local governments and the state,” said Tom Hoffman, CNCDA Chairman, who operates Puente Hills Chevrolet. “Sales incentives, such as zero-percent financing and cash back, is good news for consumers who are enjoying the benefits of a buyer’s market.”

The California Auto Outlook First Quarter 2010 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 5 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