After a long drought, domestic automakers picking up share in California

Californians have a tendency to avoid automobiles from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, opting instead to purchase vehicles from import brands. The proof is in the numbers: Toyota owns 18.5 percent of the market in California and Honda claims about 12 percent. Of the American brands, Ford leads with 11.6 percent of the Californian market, followed by Chevrolet (8.3 percent) and Chrysler (5.9 percent, including Dodge and Jeep).

But there's good news buried in those numbers for the domestic brands, as each of them have posted very slight gains over the last several quarters. According to the LA Times, it's small cars that are finally turning the tides in California. The Chevrolet Cruze in particular is performing well in the import-rich climes of The Golden State, tripling Chevrolet's market share in its segment over the car it replaced, the Cobalt.

Still, it bears mentioning that there isn't a single dealership for an American brand in San Francisco, and imports still outsell domestics 4:1 in that large new car market. Clearly, the Detroit Three have a long way to go before they are on equal footing with their import rivals in California.

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