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Canadian auto industry volumes rebounded last month, setting a record for November: Scotiabank

U.S. purchases exceeded expectations, buoyed by improving economic conditions and enhanced promotions.


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December 2, 2016 by Canadian Plastics

Industry volumes in the automotive industry rebounded last month, a new report from Scotiabank says, setting a record for November.

“While overall industry sales are still not available at the time of writing, preliminary data point to a high single-digit advance from last year’s record-setting pace,” Scotiabank’s latest Auto News Flash said. “This suggests that sales climbed back above an annualized 2 million units in November, reversing the weakening trend of recent months.”

The rebound was driven by a surge in light truck volumes at a North American automaker, Scotiabank said, especially large SUVs and mid-size pickup trucks. “However, most imported brands also reported double-digit gains in overall volumes, suggesting that the weakness of the previous four months was likely overstated,” the report said. “Despite last month’s rebound, we expect Canadian passenger vehicle sales to begin to edge lower in 2017, as manufacturers raise prices due to the recent weakness of the Canadian dollar.”

In the U.S., purchases exceeded expectations and climbed to an annualized 17.9 million units last month, setting a record for November. “The stronger-than-expected performance reflects improving economic conditions, as well as enhanced promotions,” Scotiabank said. “The industry boosted incentives ahead of Black Friday, lifting the sales pace to record highs. However, even with increased promotional activity, average transaction prices continued to advance, pointing to a healthy market.”

Light trucks led the way, with most manufacturers posting double-digit year-over-year gains. “Pickup trucks also had the best performance since the spring and sales are likely to accelerate further once business investment begins to recover from the downturn of the past year,” Scotiabank said. “The quickening sales pace in recent months reinforces our view that 2016 is likely to surpass the annual record set last year.”