California is the largest auto market in the U.S., accounting for more than 12-percent of overall sales alone. Domestic automakers, also known as the Detroit Three, have been making concerted efforts in the Golden state, where their combined brands barely account a third of the market share compared to European and Japanese automakers.
Recently, “Imported from Detroit” Chrysler surprised everyone with news that its Chrysler brand saw sales rise more than 222-percent during the first quarter of 2012 in California. Chrysler sold nearly 8,000 cars during that time, considerably more than the 2,470 sold last year. It will be interesting to see if the smallest Detroit automaker can go beyond its one-percent market share in the state.
Other Chrysler lines that saw growth in California during the same time frame include Dodge and Ram (up 29.3-percent) and Jeep (up 39.4-percent). The latter alone currently comprises two-percent of the California automotive market.
Other automakers that saw growth under the bright California sky include Kia (up 83.4-percent); Volkswagen (up 34.4-percent); and Mazda (up 34.2-percent). Chrysler’s homegrown rival General Motors saw its Chevrolet brand up nearly 11-percent during the first three months of 2012, while Ford sales nearly jumped nearly 19-percent compared to last year. However, the Detroit Three saw overall market share fall to from last year’s 31.6-percent high to less than 30-percent as rivals bounce back from supply issues and weather problems back home.
Source: The Detroit News