Annual Canadian vehicle sales surpass 2 million units for the first time ever: Scotiabank
U.S. purchases continue to exceed expectations, keeping full-year 2017 sales above 17 million units for a record third consecutive year, the bank also said.
Canadian vehicle sales declined below a year earlier for the second consecutive month in December 2017, a new report from Scotiabank says, but strong light truck demand lifted annual 2017 volumes above 2 million units for the first time on record.
“We estimate that Canadian car and light truck purchases eased below an annualized 2 million units in December for the first time in nearly a year, however, robust sales in previous months lifted full-year 2017 volumes to a record 2.038 million units,” Scotiabank said in its latest Auto News Flash. “We expect another strong performance for 2018, but are forecasting a small annual decline in 2018 volumes to 2.0 million units.”
Light truck sales in Canada posted a double-digit year-over-year increase in 2017, the report said, and now garner a record 69% of the Canadian new vehicle market, up from less than 60% three years ago. “Crossover utility vehicles led the sales gains, but pickup trucks also posted a double-digit increase, lifting annual 2017 sales of pickups above 400,000 units for the first time on record,” Scotiabank said.
In the U.S., meanwhile, purchases continued to exceed expectations, driven by surging demand for light trucks. “Based on available data, we estimate that US sales totalled an annualized 17.8 million units last month,” the report said. “This solid performance enabled full-year 2017 sales to remain above 17 million units for a record third consecutive year.” This surpasses the previous sales peak set in 2000-01, Scotiabank said, when U.S. volumes posted back-to-back annual sales in excess of 17 million. “We expect purchases to remain above 17 million for a fourth consecutive year in 2018, buoyed by strengthening economic activity, elevated consumer and business confidence, and an aging vehicle fleet.”