News

Canadian vehicle sales fall for third consecutive month: Scotiabank

But sales in the U.S. continue to beat expectations on the back of strength in trucks, Scotiabank’s new report says.


Print this page

June 4, 2018 by Canadian Plastics

Vehicle sales in Canada fell by 0.8 per cent year-over-year (y/y) in May for a third consecutive y/y decline, a new report from Scotiabank said.

But the bank estimates that purchases rose to an annualized 2.05 million units last month, after edging below the two-million mark in April.

“For the third month in a row, the Detroit Three automakers drove the headline sales figures into negative territory with volumes falling by 4.5 per cent y/y compared to ongoing strength for the remaining automakers,” Scotiabank said in its latest Auto News Flash. “Behind this decline is the continuing industry-wide weakness in car sales, which fell by 9.4% y/y. On the other hand, truck sales increased by 4% y/y strengthening from a 2.2% y/y gain the previous month.”

In the U.S., meanwhile, new vehicle sales ticked up by 0.7% y/y in May to an annualized 16.8 million units, outperforming an expected year-on-year decline. “But May’s figures mark only the second time since September 2017 that sales fall under 17 million units,” Scotiabank said.

Results in the U.S. were mixed across companies, Scotiabank said. “In contrast to Canada, two of the Big Three automakers posted double-digit annual increases which were offset by lower volumes at a couple of major foreign firms,” it said.

Purchases of SUVs, crossovers, and pickups continue to move higher in the U.S., posting an 8.3% y/y increase to an annualized pace of 11.6 million units sold, the ninth consecutive month in excess of 11 million. “In contrast, car sales declined by 13 per cent y/y,” Scotiabank said. “The transition towards larger vehicles is set to continue, though rising gasoline prices may slow the pace of the change.”