North American vehicle sales up in January: Scotiabank
Following record 2015 volumes, Canadian vehicle sales started 2016 with a further 9.6 per cent year-over-year increase, with several automakers reporting record volumes.
According to the latest Scotiabank Auto News Flash, sales averaged an annualized 1.97 million units in January, well above the full-year 2015 annual record of 1.90 million. “Volumes were boosted by new model introductions and better weather conditions than during the previous two years,” the report said. “Light trucks continued to lead the way, surging 17 per cent above a year earlier alongside a 22 per cent surge for imported brands. Eight non-North American automakers reported light truck gains in excess of 25 per cent year-over-year – a feat attained by only one North American manufacturer.”
Vehicle sales in the U.S. also posted a better-than-expected start to 2016, the report continued, as American consumers were undeterred by snow storms or unsettled global equity markets and continued to buy light trucks at a record pace. “We estimate that new car and light truck sales totalled an annualized 17.5 million units last month, buoyed by double-digit year-over-year gains for crossover utility vehicles,” the report said. “Auto demand remains a bright light amid an unsettled global economic environment, with purchases continuing to strengthen alongside improving household balance sheets, solid employment gains, as well as low interest rates and gasoline prices. With the average age of the U.S. fleet at a record 11.5 years, replacement demand will continue to lift industry volumes for an extended period.”