SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) reported today that new-vehicle registrations increased 5.4% in the first quarter vs. the year-ago period. Sales growth has slowed slightly, officials noted, but they still outpaced U.S. new-car sales growth of 2.7% this year.   

“California’s franchised dealers are predicted to sell nearly 1.8 million new cars and trucks this year,” said Brian Maas, CNCDA president. “Our members thank all of their customers for helping us to experience the 14th consecutive quarterly increase.”

The Honda Accord was the state’s best-selling model, slightly overcoming Toyota’s Prius and Camry and the Honda Civic.  Japanese brands realized a 7.2% increase in sales in the opening quarter of 2014. They now account for 49.2% of the California new-car market. Domestic brands held steady at 27.6% and Korean brands at 7.6%, while the European brands experienced a slight decline in market share. 

While the Hybrid segment has decreased this year, plug-in and electric vehicles increased slightly. The association noted, however, that Tesla experienced the sharpest year-over-year decline of any manufacturer listed in the report.  

California’s used-vehicle market is also on an upward trend, realizing a 2.4% increase in sales. Private party sales accounted for more than 61% of used-vehicle sales, while both franchised new-car dealers and independent dealers accounted for 19% of used sales.

To read the full report, click here.