Canadian Plastics

Canadian vehicle sales set a record for the month of May: StatsCan

Most automakers exceeded expectations last month, StatsCan said, but sharp double-digit declines in fleet deliveries from several manufacturers reduced industry volumes.

June 1, 2017   Canadian Plastics

Vehicle sales in Canada in May 2017 surged 11% above a year earlier, a new report from Statistics Canada said, climbing back above an annualized 2.0 million units and setting a record for the month of May.

“Enhanced incentives and a fierce fight for market share has narrowed the sales gap among the top three market leaders to less than 5,500 units so far this year, down from nearly a 21,000-unit difference a year ago,” StatsCan said.

Highlighting the extent of the incentives currently being offered, car sales jumped 3% above a year earlier last month. “This represents the first advance since the spring of 2015,” StatsCan said. “Prior to last month’s upturn, car sales had declined 5% through May. Last month’s gain in light truck purchases was also nearly triple the increase of the previous five months.”

In the U.S., most automakers exceeded expectations last month, but sharp double-digit declines in fleet deliveries from several manufacturers held back industry volumes. “We estimate that overall U.S. sales totalled an annualized 16.6 million last month, lower than analysts’ expectations and well below the January-to-April average of 17.1 million,” the report said. “However, retail volumes were stronger than expected in May, climbing 2% year-over-year for North American manufacturers.”


U.S. new vehicle sales to household have been largely unchanged this year from the 2016 record-setting pace, StatsCan said. “Purchases are being supported by a strong labour market, high consumer confidence, as well as rising wages and low interest rates,” the agency said. “Despite the solid retail performance and strengthening economic fundamentals, we have downgraded our 2017 sales forecast to 17.4 million units, due to the weakness in fleet activity – especially from the rental car industry.”

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