DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reports that light vehicle sales are best on two coasts of the country, slightly less so elsewhere.
In B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, P.E.I., and Newfoundland, sales are up by 11-plus percent year-to-date. Nationally, sales are a little less robust with an increase of 6.8 percent YTD.
The central provinces remain relatively soft with Ontario (up 5.5% YTD) and Quebec (up 3.5% YTD) showing only mild gains.
“Without strong performances in Central Canada, the market struggles,” a recent report by DesRosiers states. “Indeed, light vehicle sales at the provincial level tell an important tale about Canada. As much as our resource base has resulted in a huge upside for all the provinces west of Ontario (especially Alberta and Saskatchewan) and selected Atlantic Provinces, Central Canada is still this country’s economic powerhouse. And without robust Central Canadian contributions to the national total, it is hard for light vehicle sales to reach their full potential.”
The reports says, “This stability – if not huge growth – explains our bullish sales forecast for the next few years; barring an unexpected economic shock, most indicators point to a stronger Ontario/Quebec, and at any reasonable level of growth, we will maintain our current high sales levels.”
The Honda Civic and the Ford F-Series remain Canada’s best -selling passenger car and light truck through the end of October. With few exceptions, each of the top 10 passenger cars and light trucks have fairly significant cushions volume cushions above and below them, so there’s very little competition for position within the top 10 ranks.
According to DesRosiers, the compact car segment has underperformed most of this year, though sales are beginning to improve. Consumers showed renewed interest in the segment over the last two months, and compact cars are now only slight behind the total market (up 6.5% relative to total market growth of 6.8%). Subcompact passenger cars continue to sell well with sales up 18.1 percent in October and 17.7 percent YTD.
Winning segments this year include compact luxury and large luxury sport utility, with sales up 28.2 percent and 33.8 percent YTD respectively. Both are lower volume segments within the wider Canadian market, but – like most luxury products inside and beyond the auto industry’s borders – they are selling extremely well. The broader category of large/luxury/sport vehicles leads the market in sales growth with a combined increase of 11.4 percent.