SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California new-vehicle market continues to change, with a shift to nonluxury SUV sales from small car sales. According to the “California Auto Outlook Fourth Quarter 2017” report, market share for the two primary segments saw more than a 12% combined change from 2012 to 2017, with nonluxury SUV sales increasing from 19% to 26% and small-car sales decreasing from 31% to 25% over the five-year period.
“As larger, more family-friendly vehicles continue to make a comeback, the change we’re seeing in various market segments is directly related to consumer choice, convenience and affordability,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson Taz Harvey of Dublin (Calif.) Mazda. “Trends show that consumer demand for luxury and compact SUVs continues to increase, resulting in manufacturers producing more vehicle choices in this space to meet the needs of buyers. This is clearly reflected in the market share segment shifts we’ve seen over the past five years.”
Total market share for electric, plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles has reached 9.4% of new-car registrations statewide, but the Ford F-Series pickup alone outsold all EVs combined in 2017, with more than 55,000 new light-vehicle registrations, according to the CNCDA’s report.
2017 maintained a trend of higher light-truck sales, lower car sales and varying regional markets throughout the state. Overall, Northern California truck sales were up 9.4%, with car sales down 6.4% from 2016. Sales in Southern California mimicked this trend with light-truck sales up 7.7% and car sales down 11.8% from the previous year.
2017 closed out with more 2 million new vehicles sold statewide, for the third year in a row. It is expected that the market will continue to exceed this benchmark in 2018.