Automotive analyst Dennis DesRosiers says Central Canada continues to hold back the light vehicle market.
“Sales in Canada are up 6.7 percent this year and we are on track for a market of over 1.65 million units which would be the best since 2007, but still well below the record 1.7 million units bought in 2002” he wrote in his latest Observations newsletter. “Central Canada, defined as Ontario and Quebec, are under-performing the market with Quebec up only 2.9 percent and Ontario ( better ) but still up only 5.9 percent. These are also the two largest markets so they are very important for overall performance at a national level.”
Five provinces ( BC, Alberta, Sask., PEI and Nfld ) are growing by double digits, year to date, yet at a national level the market is growing at about half that rate.
“Both B.C. and Alberta are large markets but still no-where near the size of Ontario and Quebec,” he writes. “So on their own they’re not able to off-set the difficulties in Central Canada.”
He said one common theme about the provinces performing well is that they’re all resourced-based economies and one common theme for Central Canada is both provinces are manufacturing-based.
“The value of the dollar has been driven up by our resources and it has certainly stymied growth in both Ontario and Quebec. Ironically, Ontario is home to about 130,000 auto and parts manufacturing jobs and the high dollar is hurting Ontario’s most important industry, which in turn results in less capability of buying the vehicles Ontario ( and other jurisdictions ) build.”