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Saturday, Mar 2, 2024

Car Sales Sunk in 2006

California car dealers saw a slightly more pronounced decrease in sales than the rest of the country last year, reflecting a general slowdown in the car-buying business, according to a study released Monday by the California Motor Dealers Association. New light vehicle registrations in California dropped 5.1 percent from 2005 to 2006, compared to the national decline of 2.6 percent during the same period. The group said the split is the result of a relatively strong 2005 for California car dealers. The study also found that light vehicle registrations during the last quarter of 2006 dropped 7.9 percent versus a year earlier. The largest decline in California was centered on full-size pickups, which dropped 1.7 percent. “Concerns about unemployment, high household debt and a housing market correction suggest another slight decrease for California in 2007, although analysts believe that a combination of high consumer affordability, economic growth through 2007 and an unprecedented assortment of exciting new vehicle offerings during the year could mitigate that decrease,” said CMCDA Chairman Peter Hoffman. “The auto market is predicted to move higher in 2008 and 2009, with 2009 registrations approaching a record 2.2 million vehicles.”

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