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Local New Cars Sales Up So Far This Year

— Car dealers sold more than 26,000 new vehicles in the year's second quarter. That's up more than 14 percent when compared to the same period a year ago. The Toyota Prius was the best selling car while the Honda CRV outsold all other light trucks. Local dealers apparently weathered the havoc created by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, this past spring.

"Some dealers may have felt a bit of a pinch from the Japanese earthquake," said Lance Roberts of the New Car Dealers Association. "Overall, I think because our dealers were well stocked with vehicles going into that period, it minimized the impact that they might have felt otherwise.

New-vehicle sales bottomed out at almost 75,000 units in 2009. Sales haven't topped 100,000 for the year since 2008. That's why Roberts said early numbers are so encouraging.

"We could have up to an 18 percent increase over sales last year, which is such a great benchmark, and the report even predicts some continuing sales going into 2012," said Roberts.

Sales are not close to reaching pre-recession levels. San Diego Car dealers sold 144,000 new vehicles in 2006.

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