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California auto sales seen slowing through 2007
Auto sales in California, the largest U.S. market for cars and trucks, will slow for the rest of this year and next, a forecast released on Thursday by the state's auto dealers association said.
The report commissioned by the California Motor Car Dealers association forecast a 2.5 percent decline in 2007 sales.

"The reasons for the sliding market are plentiful, including slower economic growth, rising interest rates, elevated consumer debt levels and the slowdown in the housing market," the report prepared by consultancy Auto Outlook said.
The California market is seen as a bellwether for national auto sales, which were down about 3 percent over the first 10 months of this year from the same period a year earlier.

Toyota's U.S. sales are up 12 percent so far this year, taking the Japanese automaker's share of the overall light vehicle market to 15.2 percent from 12.2 percent a year ago. But in California, the most populous and wealthiest U.S. state, Toyota gained 3.7 percentage points of market share through the first three quarters, the study said.
By contrast, the traditional Big Three lost 4.7 market share points in California, the study said.
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