Light Vehicle Sales Down In April
By Dennis DesRosiers
(CHATHAM, ON) – For the first time in a number of months light vehicle sales in Canada were actually down from year ago levels instead of up. And this is reflected in the SAAR with fell below 1.6 million for the first time this year. (See SAAR chart attached).
Vehicle sales in April were down by 1.4 percent. Not much of a drop and given a very healthy market last April they were still quite respectable but down slightly none the less.
Chrysler was once again the story of the month finishing a few hundred units above Ford for the number one position in Canada. Chrysler was up by 3.0 percent and is now up 9.1 percent year to date. Ford was a close second and have very difficult comparable’ s to last year where they blew the doors off the market most months so it is not surprising that they were down slightly. Ford was down by 5.4 percent. GM continues to struggle with sales down by 6.8 percent for the month and down by 4.0 percent YTD.
The luxury brands continue to be some of the best performers month in and month out with Mercedes Benz up by 13.6 percent for the month and most other holding their own for the month .. .some up a few points or down a few points. But all the luxury brands or virtually all the luxury brands are up solidly year to date.
Of the mass market players. KIA is having the best year by a wide margin. They have increased sales for 40 months in a row and are up by 20.8 percent year to date. Only Land Rover has a larger increase but they are very niched in their product line-up.
The Japanese for the most part were down in April or up only slightly. We believe that this is because of how strong their sales were a year ago. They had just suffered a serious problem with the Tsunami and everyone was talking about impending supply shortages. We believe a lot of consumers bought a Japanese product last April while they were still available and this April it is hard to duplicate that performance. We expect Japanese sales to significantly increase over year ago levels for the rest of the year as ‘supply’ is no long an issue and sales starting last June were artificially low.
Till next month.
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