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Canadian vehicle sales down in August: Scotiabank

Overall, however, the industry still remains positive on the outlook, Scotiabank said, and has scheduled a further modest increase in North American assemblies for the final months of the year.


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September 1, 2016 by Canadian Plastics

Vehicle purchases in Canada in August declined below a year earlier for the second consecutive month, undercut by a double-digit fall-off in car sales among North American manufacturers, the latest Auto News Flash from Scotiabank said.

“We estimate that overall car and light truck sales totalled an annualized 1.89 million units last month, marginally above the previous month, but down from an average of 2 million in the January-June period,” the report said.

While August was the second consecutive month with an annualized sales pace below 1.9 million, sales for most automakers actually continued to advance, with several manufacturers reporting record volumes for the month of August. “In particular, sales of imported light truck brands extended their streak of double-digit year-over-year gains to seventeen consecutive months,” Scotiabank said.

Turning to the U.S., Scotiabank noted that auto sales “took a step back” in August, falling below an annualized 17 million units for the third time over the past six months. “However, the weaker-than-expected performance comes on the heels of an annualized sales pace of 17.8 million in July and leaves the average of the past two months at 17.3 million units, in line with the performance of the first half of 2016,” the report said. “Despite last month’s disappointing result, consumer fundamentals remain solid, suggesting some improvement in sales is likely in coming months.”

Overall, the industry still remains positive on the outlook, Scotiabank said, and has scheduled a further modest increase in North American assemblies for the final months of the year. “Current production plans call for record assemblies of 18.2 million across North America for all of 2016, a 2% advance from the 2015 total,” Scotiabank said.