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Canada’s record-setting vehicle sales pace “likely ended” in November: Scotiabank

Based on available data, Scotiabank’s latest Auto News flash says that Canadian sales declined two per cent year-over-year in November, ending the six-month streak of monthly records.


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December 4, 2017 by Canadian Plastics

Canada’s record-setting vehicle sales pace of recent months likely ended in November 2017, a new report from Scotiabank said, but confirmation will only be available next week, as one automaker has delayed reporting its Canadian and U.S. results due to systems outages.

Based on available data, Scotiabank’s latest Auto News flash says that Canadian sales declined two per cent year-over-year (y/y) in November, ending the six-month streak of monthly records. “However, despite the year-year-over decline, we estimate that the annualized sales pace remained above 2 million units for the ninth consecutive month,” the report said.

Light trucks remained a source of strength last month, with nearly all automakers reporting y/y sales gains, as the crossover utility craze remains in full force. “In contrast, nearly all manufacturers sold fewer cars than a year ago,” the report said. “In fact, car sales actually fell below the level prevailing during the global financial crisis in late 2008.”

In the U.S., meanwhile, sales softened from the record-breaking pace of the last two months, but preliminary data point to industry volumes remaining above expectations. “Based on the available data, we estimate that U.S. purchasers totalled an annualized 17.3 million units last month, down from more than 18 million in September and October, but roughly in line with the 2016 full-year total,” Scotiabank said. “Last month’s sales were buoyed by Black Friday promotions, as well as strengthening economic conditions which have lifted growth in the U.S. economy to the highest level since 2014, and boosted consumer confidence to a 17-year high.”

Scotiabank expects sales to remain above 17 million units over the coming year, supported by a solid labour market and ongoing replacement demand – nearly 40 per cent of all vehicles on the road in the U.S. are at least 13 years old.