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Canadian vehicle sales remained “hot” in September: Scotiabank

U.S. purchases rebounded to a cycle-high in September, Scotiabank said.


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October 3, 2017 by Canadian Plastics

Vehicle sales in Canada remained “hot” in September 2017, a new report says, with car and light truck purchases setting a monthly record for September.

According to the latest Auto News Flash from Scotiabank, volumes jumped 8% above a year ago in September and boosted the year-to-date increase to 5.5%. “We estimate that the annualized sales pace climbed to 2.07 million units last month, lifting the year-to-date average to 2.046 million,” Scotiabank’s report said.

Light truck sales jumped 10% above a year earlier, buoyed by nearly a 20% year-over-year (y/y) increase among imported brands. “In fact, last month’s advance was the largest gain for these models since the opening months of 2016 and reflects new crossover utility vehicles offerings by several automakers,” Scotiabank said. “In contrast, cars continue to struggle, with volumes declining 2% below a year ago. Sedans now account for less than one-third of the Canadian new vehicle market, down from 55% a decade ago.”

In the U.S., meanwhile, purchases in September climbed above a year earlier last month for the first time since November, as consumers began to replace vehicles damaged by Hurricane Harvey. “We estimate that passenger vehicles sales jumped to an annualized 18.5 million units in September, the highest level for the current cycle and one of the best monthly results on record,” Scotiabank said. “Last month’s stronger-than-expected performance was broad-based, with most automakers exceeding expectations.”

While the effect of this year’s hurricane season will continue to lift volumes in coming months, purchases also strengthened across most of the country, buoyed by solid economic conditions and elevated confidence. “In fact, both household and fleet volumes climbed above a year earlier in September for the first time since mid-2016,” Scotiabank said. “This robust performance significantly reduced the inventory overhang and prompted the industry to ramp up its fourth-quarter North American production to an estimated 17.4 million units, up from a low of 16.9 million in July.”