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North American vehicle sales set November record: Scotiabank


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December 2, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

The record-setting pace of sales of Canadian and U.S. vehicles continued last month, with sales climbing 5% year-over-year and setting an all-time high for November, according to the latest Auto News Flash from Scotiabank.

However, despite the solid year-over-gain, seasonally adjusted purchases edged down to an annualized 1.96 million units, from more than 2 million during each of the past two months. Light truck volumes advanced 13% year-over-year, bolstered by a 21% surge among imported brands.

But record volumes are being buoyed by a nearly 20% jump in leasing activity, Scotiabank said. “Excluding leasing, Canadian sales have actually declined 1% this year,” the Auto News Flash said. “Purchases in the U.S. remained above an annualized 18 million units for a record-setting third consecutive month. Enhanced incentives, a solid labour market and significant replacement demand have combined to lift year-to-date sales above the previous annual peak of 17.35 million set in 2000.”

Scotiabank expects purchases to continue to advance over the next several years, as stronger economic growth lifts income gains and prompts more households to replace their aging vehicles. “The average age of the U.S. vehicle fleet continues to move higher and will likely approach 12 years before the end of the decade,” the Auto News Flash said. “At the end of 2014, the average age of the U.S. fleet was a record 11.5 years.”

Record vehicle sales in the U.S. and throughout North America have enabled the auto industry to remain a bright point amid a sluggish overall manufacturing environment, Scotiabank said. “So far this year, auto industry output (vehicles and parts) has posted a double-digit gain, more than five times the growth of overall U.S. industrial activity,” the Auto News Flash said.