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OC Auto Sales on Pace for 7.3% Gain

Sales at Orange County auto dealers rose 6.4% to 46,540 vehicles in the third quarter compared to the same period last year—the 16th consecutive quarterly improvement, according to the Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

The figures are based on new retail car and light truck registrations in the county.

The local market is on pace for a 7.3% gain to 177,500 cars sold for the year.

Sales figures for the first nine months of 2014 show a 7.4% increase to 135,145 vehicles sold in OC.

National auto sales were up 6% compared to the same period last year.

Toyota Motor Corp. commanded the biggest share of the market in the county through September—18.7%— well above its 12.7% share in the nation. Honda Motor Co. followed with 12.8% of OC-based sales. Ford Motor Co. came in third, accounting for 8.2% of new auto sales.

Mazda Motor Corp., which has its North American operations in Irvine, garnered a 3.1% share of the market with 4,249 new registrations in the first nine months of this year, a 14.2% increase over the same period in 2013.

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc.’s year-to-date market share was at 5.5%, with 7,456 vehicles sold here, a 6.7% decrease from a year earlier.

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine sold 5,687 vehicles through OC dealers in the first nine months of the year, good for a 5.5% year-over-year increase and a market share of 4.2%.

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.’s local sales dropped 3% to 840 vehicles and a market share of 0.6%. The Cypress-based brand’s national sales were up 29.8%.

Chrysler brands combined for a 5.1% share of the market with 6,871 vehicles sold in the county through September.

Of General Motors Co.’s brands–GMC, Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet–the last one took the biggest share of the OC auto market—4.4%—with 5,892 new registrations, a 17.9% increase.

The report forecasts a 4.5% increase in auto sales to 185,500 vehicles for 2015.

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