Sales at local auto dealers totaled $7.6 billion last year, according to an annual economic impact report from Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
The total, which includes sales of new and used vehicles along with service and parts, reflects a nearly 19% increase from 2010 sales.
New vehicle sales rose 10% from a year earlier to $4.6 billion.
Used vehicle sales rose about 27% from the year-earlier period to $1.8 billion.
The sales momentum is expected to continue this year with the OCADA forecasting an 8.4% increase in light vehicle registrations.
More business for local dealers meant more hiring, which was reflected in the OCADA report, with employment up about 5% to 11,115 full- and part-time workers last year.
Orange County counts 117 dealerships, according to the OCADA.
The greatest concentration of dealerships are in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin, Anaheim and Huntington Beach—all of which counted at least 10 dealers last year.