Orange County Business Journal

OC Auto Sales Up in May

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Orange County new vehicle sales rose 19.2% in May, according to the latest market report from Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

Sales for the month totaled 11,383 vehicles, which is based on new-vehicle registrations with the state.

Luxury brands had mixed results, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz sales down. BMW sales fell 21.4% locally in May, while Mercedes-Benz had a 9.4% dip.

Lexus saw sales rise 27.3%, to 387 vehicles.

Japanese automakers reported a strong overall performance for the month, up 38.3% to 5,960 vehicles.

Toyota and Scion combined for a 71.8% increase, to 2,616 vehicles sold here. Honda reported sales up 32% here to 1,658 vehicles.

The Hyundai and Kia brands—both part of Hyundai Kia Automotive Group of South Korea—saw a combined 10.2% rise in May sales to 1,231 vehicles. Kia led with an 18.7% increase to 477 vehicles.

The Chrysler brand led U.S. automakers in terms of percentage gains with a 78.9% increase to 68 vehicles sold in OC. General Motors' GMC brand had the biggest drop in OC sales among U.S. automakers, with a 37.2% decline to 91 vehicles.

U.S. automakers’ sales here combined for an increase of 9.5% to 2,058 vehicles.

Sales of the Smart car, made by Mercedes-Benz unit Daimler Vehicle Innovations USA LLC rose 350%, to nine vehicles.