October was another huge month for light vehicle sales in Canada and for the second month in a row a SAAR tracking above 2 million units, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
Sales for October were up 6.5 percent to 154.9K units and this was the sixth month in a row where sales hit an all-time same month record. The strength in October brought light vehicle sales to 1.579 million units YTD.
Light trucks continue to dominate sales in Canada –up 10.7 percent for the month and up 10.4 percent for the year to date. Passenger car sales were up only 1.2 percent of the month and are actually down on the year by 0.4 percent. Light trucks now account for 58.1 percent of sales. With fuel prices declining with lower oil prices we would expect light truck sales to continue to out-perform passenger car sales.
GM, Ford and Chrysler have had a number of very good months this year and this continued into October with their sales up 8.3 percent while import nameplates were up, but by only 5.3 percent. Although currently outperforming import nameplates they still lag on a year to date basis with import nameplates up 6.0 percent at 873.2K units versus the Detroit Three up 5.1 percent at 706.3K units.
Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers delivered 22,002 vehicles in October 2014, an increase of 7 per cent from October 2013. Total GM Canada sales are up more than 5 per cent for the 2014 calendar year.
Despite Ford being down by 2.6 percent and FCA being up by 23.1 percent, Ford maintained Canadian sales leadership on a year to date basis. In October these three companies were within a hundred units of each other. YTD GM is still 30K plus units behind their Detroit rivals but on the month they were all essentially equal.
No fewer than ten OEM saw sales increases in the double-digit range in October with a number of them north of a twenty percent increase. Not every brand was up on the month with BMW, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volkswagen all down in October.
Volkswagen Canada achieved its 5th straight annual record last month. A total of 5,276 new cars and light trucks were delivered from its 136 dealers, bringing the year-to-date number to 56,443.
With some of these brands there are supply side issues in that they have sold so many vehicles this year they are all struggling to find product to fill their dealers’ lots.
OEMs order their vehicles well in advance and in a very hot market like we have in Canada some find it difficult to get additional product from their factories even with reasonable notice periods. This is especially the case when the US market is running above expectations and is soaking up product for their dealers.