Auto sales in California are red hot right now. The Detroit News reports that sales of new vehicles are up 17.7 percent in 2012, outpacing overall U.S. growth, which sits at a still healthy 13.3 percent. And since gas prices are still extremely high, cars accounted for a reported 62.7 percent of sales, while SUVs dropped to only 24.4 percent.

The car versus-SUV-paradigm isn't all that surprising given the price of petrol, but what is surprising is the brand that has received the biggest sales increase on a percentage basis. The Chrysler brand (aka the 200, 300 and Town & Country) is up a whopping 222 percent through March.

That's a shockingly big bump, but perspective comes with a glance at 2011 numbers. Last year, Chrysler sold just 2,470 vehicles in the largest car market in the U.S., compared to 7,955 sales in the first three months of this year. Chrysler has been so bad in California that in 2011 it reportedly accounted for only one percent of overall sales.

We don't know how much of this increase is accounted for with fleet sales of the Town & Country and 200, but at the very least it's probably safe to assume that rental car companies probably don't make up anything close to the 222 percent increase. It seems Chrysler may have a (somewhat muted) pulse in Cali after all.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      Blizzard_Esq
      • 2 Years Ago
      On April 3, 2012, Chrysler's LLC press release stated: • Chrysler 300 flagship sedan posts a strong 169 percent increase sales • Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan sets a monthly sales record; March sales up 121 percent • Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans posted 32 percent increase. I notice a lot of 300's in Los Angeles lately. Being a relatively new product surely helps, plus it looks good.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Blizzard_Esq
        Hmm. 3 models with sales increases of 169%, 121%, and 32%. How is it possible for the brand as a whole to register a 222% gain?
          TMTexas
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          The 169/121/32 numbers are overall. The 222% is for the brand in JUST California.
        Blizzard_Esq
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Blizzard_Esq
        FYI. This particular statistic is from the California New Car Dealers Association. New light vehicle registrations (including retail and fleet transactions) in California increased 17.7. New retail light vehicle registrations (excluding fleet transactions) in California increased 13.7. The domestics are staying as close to 30% of their sales going to fleets. Chrysler's numbers indicate 29.7%, Ford and GM are also 29.9 and 29.5. Nissan's percent of sales going to fleet is 25% and Toyota at 15% of total sales.
      BTCC
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the article breaks down "domestic" sales in California? I'm hoping they consider Chrysler now an import brand since it's an Italian owned company.
      dezoris00
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great more horrible drivers on the road.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      MOPAR UBER ALLES! THE COMPETITION HASN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET. WAIT TILL JAPANinc SEES THE NEW CHRYSLER/LANCIA DELTA REPLACEMENT. A RENDERING IS ON ALLPAR.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        [blocked]
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          For unintelligent people like you, a 1 increase on a zero base is an infinite % gain.
          Vinny68
          • 2 Years Ago
          Funniest math post ever!
          JDM
          • 2 Years Ago
          HK, I agree with you and unlike the other simple minded individuals I understand what you were trying to say. Yes, you end up with an infinite number but if you sell 1 then sell 2 you end up with a 100% increase. Technically, if you have nothing and add 1 there would be a gain of 100%. But yes, you get an infinite number in the laws of mathematics. I agree Chryslers’ sales look good because they didn't sell very many cars last year. So the number looks impressive, but it's not.
          DMAG
          • 2 Years Ago
          Bwaahahahahaha!!!!!!
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Typing in ALL CAPS definitely helps your credibility. Being a rampant Mopar fanboy also helps.... /s
        Lazgun
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        I thought the sarcastic enthusiasm in the post was pretty obvious.
      Bill Burke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chryslers are hot. California needs more Chryslers, lots more. Buy Chrysler and be part of the in crowd. Did I mention that Chryslers are hot?
        ThomasP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bill Burke
        So... where is your Chrysler dealership located?
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good for Chrysler, but they need to remember that Californians like trendy things. This is not sustainable growth. I'm sure they saw a similar sales jump when they first released the last generation 300 in '04. Those things were everywhere, too.
        regionrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        You're judging California based on L.A. and San Francisco. It's a HUGE state with an extremely varied population.
          ngiotta
          • 2 Years Ago
          @regionrat
          That's not true at all. I live 3 hours north of SoCal (mostly agricultural in the valley) and there are tons of Chrysler vehicles here. Granted, the high Hispanic and cowboy population means that Chevy edges out both Ford and Chrysler here, but they do well here nonetheless. California's central valley has over 4,000,000 people. The people that live in this part of California are not into trendy things, are typically republican or moderates and usually are overlooked because of the 33,000,000 wack-jobs and politicians taking up the other 20% of California's land.
      Keith Oxford
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Autoblog: As car markets go, it is not divided up by states. it is divided up by region. The largest car market in the US is the northeastern US. Do your research.
      tomdhracer
      • 2 Years Ago
      I got a S-10 Longbed in 1982 sold it in 2011 and it still got close to 30 MPG when it was new and in 2011. I could drive from Indiana to New Jersey boarder on a full tank of gas. It could almost haul as much as a full sized truck , but only cost 9 grand new. If they could do it again I think GM would have a lead bigtime over the othe two area car makers. Tomdhracer
        ThomasP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tomdhracer
        thats great but what the hell does that have to do with this article?!
      tritonstrategies
      • 2 Years Ago
      I need to see that SRT with 22s. I never thought I would think that 20s are a bit too small.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good to see a domestic brand doing well in California.
      Alex Fischer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wat
      Skicat
      • 2 Years Ago
      California born and raised. Now live in Michigan, so it's great to see a U.S. brand doing well where most of my friends and family haven't driven domestic since the '70s. BTW, no California native has ever referred to it as Cali. If you want to sound like a hick, call if Cali.
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