California auto dealers are reporting that by year's end the state's residents will have bought 938,839 Japanese vehicles and 859,206 domestic vehicles, the latter of which also includes those sold by The Chrysler Group despite the location of its parent company's headquarters in Germany. This is big news as Californians have never before let down the Big Three in sales. The cause is most likely the decision by each domestic automaker to reign in their respective fleet sales, which account for a significant percentage of their sales nationwide, let alone in California. The Big Three will end the year with 41 percent of the California new car buyer market, which is a drop of 9.2 percent compared to 2005. The Japanese brands, meanwhile, will rise 2.7 percent to 44.8 percent.
Being the largest new car market in the U.S., California can also forecast trends in the industry before they occur on a national level. At the moment, however, it doesn't seem likely that Japanese brands will outsell their domestic competitors on a national level anytime soon, with the latter still enjoying a 53.9 percent share of their homecourt and Japanese brands commanding only 34.8 percent of the U.S. market.

Thanks for the tip, Steve!

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