By Dennis DesRosiers
(RICHMOND HILL, ON) – Yet another huge month for light vehicle sales in Canada, and for the second month in a row a SAAR is tracking above two million units. In a word; stunning.
Sales for October were up 6.5 per cent to 154.9K units, and this was the sixth month in a row where sales hit an all-time same month record. The strength in October brought light vehicle sales to 1.579 million units YTD.
Light trucks continue to dominate sales in Canada, up 10.7 per cent for the month and up 10.4 per cent for the year to date. Passenger car sales were up only 1.2 per cent for the month and are actually down on the year by 0.4 per cent.
Light trucks now account for 58.1 per cent of sales. As fuel prices decline with lower oil prices, we would expect light truck sales to continue to out-perform passenger car sales.
GM, Ford, and Chrysler have had a number of very good months this year and this continued into October with their sales up 8.3 per cent while import nameplates were up but by only 5.3 per cent. Although currently outperforming import nameplates, they still lag on a year to date basis with import nameplates up 6.0 per cent at 873.2K units versus the Detroit Three up 5.1 per cent at 706.3K units.
Despite Ford being down by 2.6 per cent and FCA being up by 23.1 per cent, Ford maintained Canadian sales leadership on a year to date basis.
In October the three companies were within a hundred units of each other. YTD GM is still 30K plus units behind their Detroit rivals but, on the month, they were all essentially equal.
No fewer than ten OEM saw sales increases in the double digit range in October with a number of them north of a twenty per cent increase.
Not every brand was up on the month, though, with BMW, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volkswagen all down. With some of these brands there are supply side issues in that they have sold so many vehicles this year they are all struggling to find product to fill their dealers’ lots.
OEMs order their vehicles well in advance and, in a very hot market like we have in Canada, some find it difficult to get additional product from their factories even with reasonable notice periods. This is especially the case when the US market is running above expectations and is soaking up product from their dealers.