Canadian auto sales are climbing steadily this year, increasing by 5% during the first half of 2017 after setting a record in June when sales increased 6.5%.
As in the United States, light trucks have been strong during the first six months of the year even as sales of passenger cars dropped. Overall, automakers sold 1.04 million new vehicles in Canada between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to sales figures from manufacturers.
In contrast, U.S. auto sales fell for a fourth consecutive month in June, despite hefty consumer discounts, the major automakers reported on Monday. The gains in sales in Canada as well as in Mexico are offsetting some of the drop in U.S. sales.
While car sales in Canada have posted a record in nearly every month of 2017 so far, it is not immune to the different picture that is forming in the United States, noted analyst Dennis DesRosiers.
(U.S. vehicle sales continue to tumble in June. Click Here for the story.)
“Surpassing 2016 as an all-time record setting year may not be a foregone conclusion should Canada start to follow that trend in the latter half of the year,” DesRosiers.
Light truck sales increased 8.8% year-to-date, while passenger car sales were down 2%, according to DesRosiers.
The increase in sales of pickup trucks points to improving business investment prospects in the country’s energy sector, said Scotiabank senior economist Carlos Gomes.
Gomes recently raised his 2017 Canadian sales forecast to 2 million vehicles from 1.94 million as the Prairie provinces recover from the drop in oil prices that began in 2014.
(Click Here for details about how used car sales will keep dealers afloat during new car downturn.)
Ford Motor Co said it sold 32,777 vehicles in Canada last month, up 14.1% from the year before as sales of its sport utility vehicles rose.
General Motors Co. sold 27,151 vehicles last month, up 4.2% from a year ago as dealerships also saw increased demand for pickup trucks and compact SUVs. For the first six months of the year, total sales were up 15.6%, GM said, the strongest first half of the year since 2008, just before the global financial crisis hit.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., however, said its sales dropped 7% from the year before as sales of its Jeep brand declined.
June sales numbers haven’t been released yet by the Mexican Auto Dealers Association, but Mexican auto dealers sold 122,916 vehicles during May, a 1.1% increase compared to the same month of 2016.
(To see why most Americans can’t afford a new vehicle, Click Here.)
Sales for the first five months of 2017 are up 4.8% compared to the same period a year before, totaling 615,641 units, according to the Mexican Auto Dealer Association (AMDA).