September marked the third consecutive month that light vehicle sales declined in Canada.
Sales were down by 0.5 percent for the month but remain up for the year to date by 3.2 percent.
September is usually the traditional end to the model year and some OEMs are clearing out last year’s models to make room for their new product, so sales incentives are usually very high and these can play havoc with the numbers.
That being said, the SAAR was north of 2.0 million units and SAARs are used to account for these seasonal variations.
With slight sales declines for 4 of the last 5 months, a distinctive plateauing of the market has developed in the 1.95 million range and the final year-end number is expected to come in around that level.
This would still be a new record for sales.
So despite the sales plateau, the market is tracking at very high levels compared to previous years. It was only five years ago when September sales amounted to less than 130K units … two years in a row above 170K units by any measure are very healthy sales.
There are a number of important stories behind these numbers.
First, Ford has once again taken over the top spot for sales and with their sales up (10.5 percent YTD) and FCA’s sales down (4.1 percent YTD). Ford is now putting some distance between them and last year’s winner in FCA.
Second, the luxury brands continue to do well with Jaguar (up 148.9 percent), Volvo (up 34.4 percent), Audi (up 26.7 percent), Porsche (up 14.4 percent) and Land Rover (up 12.7 percent) all reporting double digit year-over-year sales gains.
Third, passenger cars are hurting and continue to slide with sales down 7.6 percent of the month and 7.7 percent for the year to date. The market has moved whole-heartedly to light trucks where sales were up by 3.5 percent for the month and are now up by 10.1 percent year-to-date, accounting for two out of three light vehicle sales (65.3 percent).