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O.C. auto industry continues 'slow, but steady recovery'

New-car registrations increase 6.8 percent in Q3 over the same time last year, says OCADA.

By Kristen SchottPublished: October 27, 2010 01:58 PM

Courtesy of Fotolia
Orange County's new-car market improved moderately in the third quarter – and that growth is expected to continue into next year, according to a new report from the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

A total of 28,659 new cars were registered between July and September, up 6.8 percent over the same time last year.

Japanese brands led local dealers in the period, with 15,627 cars sold. The number represents a 1.3 percent increase over the third quarter of 2009. But Korean brands reported the largest spike in sales, rising 29.9 percent over the same time last year. A total of 2,023 Korean autos were registered.

For the year so far, the region's market has improved 12.8 percent, compared to the same time in 2009. A total of 80,990 new cars were registered between January and September, according to the OCADA.

"Car buyers continue to return to the market and are fueling the Orange County auto industry's slow, but steady recovery," said John Sackrison, executive director of the OCADA.

Looking ahead, "record-setting" pent-up demand and aging vehicles will spur new-vehicle sales.

New-car registrations are projected to hit 120,000 units in 2011, which reflects a 10.8 percent gain over this year – though the market will still be "relatively weak," compared to historical averages, according to the OCADA.

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