Ask any sales and marketing executive from Chrysler, Ford or General Motors what their company's greatest challenge is and they will unequivocally reply, "California." The Golden State accounts for 12.5 percent of all new car sales in the United States, but even more importantly, it is seen as a bellwether for the nation. As the home of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries, California has an outsized reach into our nation's popular culture – but Californians have historically been among the least receptive to domestic products.

There's some evidence that trend may be changing, as domestic market share has been improving in the recent years, according to Forbes. Ford has seen its Blue Oval brand improve from seven percent in 2008 to over nine percent last year. Chevrolet topped six percent last year after three years of growth. Even Chrysler, which had a market share of less than four percent in 2010, has seen growth – to five percent in 2011 and almost six percent so far this year.

Still, those numbers are a pittance compared to the import brands. According to The Detroit News, domestic automakers have a combined 30.8 percent share in California, well below their 44.3 percent national average. The domestics' recent growth in California – the Japanese and Korean manufacturers' "home turf" – has certainly been helped by supply shortages at Honda and Toyota, companies beset by natural disasters last year.

If domestic automakers are going to continue to take share from foreign competition, they're going to have to have more success stories like the recent surge in Chevrolet Volt sales, a phenomenon spurred by the availability of High Occupancy Vehicle lane stickers for GM's plug-in hybrid. There's also an inevitable demographic shift that could benefit Detroit, as domestic-hating Baby Boomers give way to younger buyers with no memory of Detroit's dark decades in the 1970s and 1980s.


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  • 41 Comments
      - v o c t u s -
      • 2 Years Ago
      those are some late-blooming baby boomer offspring if if they have no memory of the 1980's
      F1
      • 2 Years Ago
      extremist liberals in bay area are probably like the extremist conservatives in say, parts of texas. theyre both unhappy about the government and they have a certain mind set about supporting USA. liberals, here, as far as it seems dont want to buy domestic because they made 'crappy' cars for about 25 years or so they will buy who makes the better product (proof=bailout). i can see conservatives strictly buying domestic to support USA. the proof that domestics are getting back to speed in sales will show here in the bay area, and i am happy to see it.
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chrys is Italian
        guyverfanboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        No moron. Chrysler is an American company owned by an Italian parent company. Big difference.
          rlog100
          • 2 Years Ago
          @guyverfanboy
          @Denver. ironically Denver your claim will make the car more appealing to people who hate their fellow citizens which unfortunately, as evidenced by you, are plentiful.
          Denver
          • 2 Years Ago
          @guyverfanboy
          No i do believe it is you whos the moron. It is indeed Italian. Sorry you love their products so much you still convince yourself they are American to make yourself feel more like a patriot
          TheMainInsane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @guyverfanboy
          I find it upsetting to say that Fiat owns over 52% of Chrysler. I would consider that more Italian than American.
      DR. MARK REPAIRS
      • 2 Years Ago
      G.M. CRYSLER AND FORD = 70% OF THEM ARE BUILT IN CHINA SO MUCH FOR AMERICAN MADE
        danno
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DR. MARK REPAIRS
        Your an idiot...G>M makes around fifteen different models in the us that have 75% or more american made content..Approx the same for ford...chrysler.. makes I think four models here in america but fiat now owns a majority of chrysler stock..Now lets look at your beloved asian rides toyota assembels many models in america as well as honda..kia of korea also has a assembly plant or two..Big difference here is what nation do you want to see your money go to? America..,japan, or korea...What destroyed the american manufacturing was immigration of japanese and korean made vehicles..And I for one beleive it will happen again as most americns are idiot's like you and just do not get it...Oh and in korea what cars do the public buy..kias..in japan what cars do there population but..Japanese of course..
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DR. MARK REPAIRS
        [blocked]
      BRKF06
      • 2 Years Ago
      My Gen X wife will not let go of her hate for domestics. I fear the only way my son will ever ride in a domestic is with his grandparents.
      Dane Grant
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford makes good and nice looking cars... It is obvious why they are selling!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dane Grant
        [blocked]
        Logic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dane Grant
        I don't give a rats @ss about looks, give me something that will stand the test of time and something with low cost in maintanence.
      Logic
      • 2 Years Ago
      "There's also an inevitable demographic shift that could benefit Detroit, as domestic-hating Baby Boomers give way to younger buyers with no memory of Detroit's dark decades in the 1970s and 1980s." Are you kidding me??? All these young cats drive Hondas and Toyotas, not including luxury vehicles which the names Acura and Lexus come to mind. When you mention luxury to them, there thinking Acura or Lexus not Cadillac or Lincoln! Hahahaha......do your research here people!!!!!
      jorwmu
      • 2 Years Ago
      Traitorous Californians!!! BUY AMERICAN B4 there is NO MORE AMERICA!
        Logic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jorwmu
        Sorry bro, but those dam American cars haven't proved to stand the test of time. I work hard for the money, I wanna buy a dependable vehicle with low cost in maintenance. I got to earn respect player.
        Ken
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jorwmu
        Don't worry...California lawmakers will force companies there to buy them as company cars.. Obama will put that pressure on them too.. Like he did with GE..
      donnah2622
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Lvl5Gan69Wo
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      to your email L
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's getting better because the automakers get it, there will be decent domestic product coming down the pipeline in the next 2 or 3 years. I think the Dodge Dart is now on sale here in Cali. I'm looking forward to the Ford Fusion and the Chevrolet Impala. coming up.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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