Tulare & Kings Car Sales Grow By 3 Percent
Growth has slowed in the California auto sales business in 2016 but is still on pace to deliver 2 million units a year. Statewide light vehicle registration has been under 2% growth this year according to the California New Car Dealers Association. For the same time period last year sales had climbed more than 11%.
Locally, R.L. Polk automotive data shows growth in the Tulare/Kings market of around 3% year-to-date, says Visalia car dealer Don Groppetti. “We will likely add another 20,000 new registrations annually in the two-county area with about one quarter of that in Kings County” he estimates.
“That’s a pretty strong figure” adds Groppetti. “Light trucks and SUVs seem to be growing more popular than standard cars.” Statewide in the first nine months of 2016 – truck sales are up 12.6% while car sales are down 5.6%.
As to the future locally Groppetti says growth depends on economics in the ag sector and “that depends on water.” While there is some optimism among farmers Groppetti says with the state regulating groundwater “we may see some land go out of production.”
The latest state dealer report says Honda has seen the largest increase in registrations by brand in the state. Also, Civic remains the top car sold and Ford F-Series trucks remain the top in its class. While the Honda brand has seen a 10% increase in sales, rival Toyota has declined by 3.3% and VW has seen the biggest plunge – down 10%. Toyota is still tops in market-share in California with more than 20% of all sales.