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May 22, 2007 > New-car registration drops 7 percent

New-car registration drops 7 percent

Thursday, May 17 (San Jose Business Journal)_7 percent during the first quarter, compared to the same three-month period last year, according to the California Motor Car Dealers Association.

Record fuel prices and a slumping housing market likely contributed to some of the first-quarter sales decline, especially as both affect consumer confidence. Increased consumer debt levels and negative savings rates also played a role, according to the Sacramento-based organization.

The association estimates a 3.9 percent drop in new-vehicle registration and sales this year.

"It appears that there are opportunities in the shift from large SUVs to compact SUVs, and (a) drift back to cars from trucks," said CMCDA chairman Peter Hoffman.

New-car sales are major sales-tax revenue generator for cities, counties and the state.

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