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Auto sales hit record in September: Scotiabank


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October 5, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

Despite slumping global equity markets, Canadian auto sales climbed to record highs in September, surpassing the previous peak annual rate of 1.95 million units set a year ago, according to Scotiabank’s latest Auto News Flash.

The News Flash estimates that sales climbed to an all-time high of 1.98 million last month, up from an average of 1.86 million through August. “The gain reflects improved credit availability, especially for vehicle leasing which has boosted lease volumes 16% this year,” the bank’s report said.

Excluding the surge in leasing, overall sales have actually declined marginally through September. United States purchases accelerated to the fastest pace in more than a decade, with most automakers reporting higher-than-expected volumes last month. “We estimate that purchases climbed to an annualized 18.1 million units in September, the highest level since July 2005 and up from an average of 17.1 million during the previous eight months,” the report said.

Activity was buoyed in early September by enhanced Labor Day promotions, but remained solid throughout the month. “Small crossover utility vehicles led the way, with volumes surging more than 25% above a year earlier, due to the rising popularity of these models with both young and aging vehicle buyers. Improving economic conditions, especially a robust labour market, and rising pent-up demand lifted retail volumes at the two largest North American automakers 20% above a year earlier — one of the strongest gains of recent years, and nearly five times the advance of the previous eight months,” the report said.