Canadian Plastics

Asia leads surging global car sales in September: Scotiabank

Sales in Canada bounced back in September, Scotiabank said, with several automakers reporting records for the month.

October 27, 2016   Canadian Plastics

Led by surging purchases in Asia, global car sales accelerated further in September, climbing 10% year-over-year (y/y), for the largest gain in three years.

According to the latest Global Auto Report from Scotiabank, China saw a 32% spike in volumes in September, which represents the fourth consecutive monthly gain in excess of 20% and reflects a rush to buy new vehicles ahead of the expiry of the reduction in the sales tax for small vehicles at year-end. Volumes were also strong in Western Europe and even turned positive year-over-year in Eastern Europe, as double-digit advances in eleven nations more than offset ongoing declines in Russia.

Sales in Canada bounced back in September, Scotiabank said, with several automakers reporting records for the month. “However, overall volumes fell short of last year’s peak due to a double-digit slide at a large manufacturer,” the report said. “We estimate that overall purchases totaled 1.96 million units, well above the 1.89 million average of the past two months, but marginally below the year-ago record for September.” Activity was mixed across the provinces, advancing above a year ago in five provinces and declining in the other five. Ontario and British Columbia continue to outperform. “Sales in these two provinces advanced 2% above a year ago in September, and have increased 7% during the first nine months of 2016,” Scotiabank said. “Fleet volumes are leading the way in both provinces, but retail activity is also moving higher.”

Purchases in the United States rebounded to an annualized 17.7 million units in September, up from less than 17 million in August and an average of 17.2 million during the previous eight months. “This solid performance combined with strong preliminary estimates for October keep the industry on target to set a second consecutive annual sales record,” the report said. “A further moderate increase is likely in 2017, supported by ongoing strength in key economic fundamentals, such as a solid labour market, rising incomes, low interest rates and fuel prices.”

Last month’s better-than-expected performance prompted the industry to increase its full-year North American production plan to record highs, the report noted, even as a large automaker announced that it was temporarily idling some plants due to high inventories of several models.

While the two Asian markets remain in growth mode, both economic activity and car sales have shifted into reverse in Brazil and Russia. “In the case of Brazil, car sales peaked in 2012 at 2.8 million and are on target to slump to only 1.45 million this year — the lowest level in more than a decade,” Scotiabank said. “In fact, the plunge in car sales since 2012 is the largest peak-to-trough slump in the Brazilian market during the past fifty years.”


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