Sales of new light vehicles fell in Canada again compared to the same month last year. May was the third consecutive month to post a year-over-year drop so far in 2018.
In all, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 215,407 vehicles were sold in May, down 0.7 per cent from the last year’s number of 216,861. However, it’s still better than April’s numbers that saw 191,900 units sold.
Canada’s year-to-date total sits at 836,522 new vehicles sold, almost 1,000 units ahead of the same point in 2017, according to DesRosiers. The difference was an unusually strong January, the company said.
But that lead is set to evaporate quickly if the ongoing pattern of sales continues into the summer months.
Sales of light trucks were – again – up, this time by four per cent. The category accounted for 147,337 of total sales while passenger car sales dropped 9.4 per cent to 75,172 units sold.
Up and down is how the story goes south of the border and May was a positive month in the United States for new vehicle sales.
After a down April, numbers bumped back up as sales rose an estimated 2 per cent in May.
Despite pessimism around higher gas prices and rising interest rates, low unemployment and strong consumer confidence appear to have buoyed the market last month.
“The U.S. economy remains on a favourable trajectory,” said Ford Motor Co. chief economist Emily Kolinski Morris during a media briefing call on June 1.
Car sales are down 10 per cent, while SUVs are up 13 per cent, according to an estimate from Ford.
RBC Capital Markets reported that the country is on pace for about 16.8 million sales in 2018. About 17.2 million vehicles were sold in 2017, snapping a seven-year run of year-over-year growth.