Auto Service World
News   August 2, 2017   by Adam Malik

Auto sales: Canada booms, U.S. slides

Auto sales hit a record high again in Canada. In the U.S., however, it’s the opposite story.

Despite being neighbours, there are two vastly different tales of auto sales in Canada and the United States.

It’s been a banner year here for the industry. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Canadian auto sales hit yet another record in July.

The Richmond Hill-based consulting firm reported that vehicle sales for July hit 181,834 – 58,231 cars and 123,603 light trucks. That topped the month’s previous record, set in 2015.

Compared to last year, it’s a 4.9 per cent increase (173,304 total in July 2016). The big difference came on the light truck side with more than 9,500 more sold this year than last.

In all, six of the year’s seven months have seen record-setting numbers. April was the only month that fell short.

Canada’s top-selling brand was Ford with 27,650 vehicles sold, despite a 7.1 per cent sales drop from last year. General Motors, meanwhile, sold 25,852 vehicles, a 21.6 increase.

South of the border

Head south and the clouds are gloomy. For the seventh straight month, sales in the U.S. continue to slide. Heading into the year, the American market saw seven years of growth.

General Motors said its sales fell 15 per cent in July. Ford was down 7.5 per cent. Both companies cut sales to rental and corporate fleets, said a report from The Associated Press. Things were not better for other carmakers as Fiat Chrysler’s sales dropped 10 per cent; Volkswagen saw sales dip 5.8 per cent; and Nissan fell 3 per cent. Honda’s sales were down 1.2 per cent.

Toyota, at 3.6 per cent, and Subaru, at 7 per cent, managed to buck the trend.

Alec Gutierrez, a senior market analyst with the car shopping site Kelley Blue Book, said the pace of auto sales in the U.S. would put numbers around 16.5 million vehicles sold. Still, he told The Associated Press that there would be no change to the full-year forecast of 17.1 million sales. In 2016, new vehicle sales hit 17.55 million.

Ford played off the numbers a blip, rather than a trend as both Ford (26 per cent) and GM (81 per cent) cut fleet sales.

“We’re still operating at a very high level,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales chief.

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