The latest new vehicle sales data from California New Car Dealers Association indicates that sales are now projected to be above 1.9 million units for the year. Although slowing 4% from the prior year, this indicator reflects the level of overall consumer confidence and continuing strength of the recovery. New vehicle sales are also a critical indicator of state and local revenues, with Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers (NAICS 441) producing 13% of total taxable sales in the most recent data for the first quarter in 2018.
• Light truck market share in the quarter was down marginally to 56.1%, compared to 57.3% in Q4 2018 and 53.6% in Q1 2018.
• Consumer shifts to light trucks for the US outside California similarly showed only a marginal change, accounting for 69.9% of new light vehicle sales. The potential for California’s ZEV policies to be replicated beyond its borders remains low as the market segment targeted by most Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) models—cars—continues to remain low as a result of consumer preferences.
• The average California price for regular gas in Q1 2019 was $3.34 a gallon, the same as the year prior.