Canadian Plastics

Record-setting vehicle purchases in April: Scotiabank

U.S. sales also regained momentum in April, the bank said.

May 4, 2016   Canadian Plastics

The record-setting pace of vehicle sales in Canada accelerated further in April, with volumes climbing to new heights, according to the latest figures from Scotiabank.

“We estimate that purchases totalled an annualized 2.03 million units last month, lifting the year-to-date-total to 2.0 million, up from 1.9 million in all of 2015,” Scotiabank’s most recent Auto News Flash said. “Light trucks continued to lead the way, soaring 16 per cent above a year earlier, as volumes at foreign brands surged more than 22 per cent. Pickup truck sales also accelerated for North American automakers, alongside increased availability of the market-leading F-series. Last month’s record-setting sales pace suggests that the improved tone of economic activity in Canada evident in recent months has continued into April.”

Turning to the U.S., the Auto News Flash noted that vehicle sales regained momentum in April, with several automakers reporting record volumes. “We estimate that sales rebounded to an annualized 17.4 million units last month, up from a disappointing 16.5 million in March and an average of 17.1 million during the first quarter,” Scotiabank said.

Purchases continue to be buoyed by a solid labour market, rising incomes, improving vehicle affordability, Scotiabank said, as well as by low gasoline prices. “With U.S. gasoline prices still roughly 20 per cent below the 2015 annual average, light trucks continue to drive industry volumes to record highs,” the News Flash said. “During April, most light truck segments posted double-digit year-over-year gains, led by a surge in small and mid-size crossover utility vehicles — the largest segment of the U.S. auto industry, with roughly a 25 per cent market share. As recently as 2012, these models accounted for less than 18 per cent of the U.S. market.”


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