SACRAMENTO – The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) announced that new retail vehicle registrations increased 28.6 percent in California during the first quarter of 2011, compared with the first quarter of 2010. Total new car registrations, including fleet sales, were up 19.7 percent in the first quarter. Pent up demand accumulated during the economic downturn has consumers returning to the new-vehicle market.

“As we reflect on the last few years, it is hard to imagine that we lost brands such as Pontiac, Mercury, Saturn and Hummer. It’s also amazing that since 2004, total dealerships in the USA have declined from 22,333 to 17,653 — a loss of 4,680. However, these losses of brands and dealerships have only made those dealers that are left stronger and better. California and its new-car dealers are back in the race. New-vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2011 are up dramatically compared to last year and we are on track to sell over 1.3 million new cars and trucks in California alone — the best sales year since 2008,” said Steve Snyder, CNCDA Chairman and operator of Gold Rush Chevrolet/Subaru in Auburn, Calif.

The California Auto Outlook First Quarter 2011 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