Record-setting vehicle sales continued in October: Scotiabank
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U.S. purchases defied expectations, Scotiabank also said, remaining at an annualized 18 million units last month.
The record-setting pace of vehicle sales in Canada continued in October 2017, a new report from Scotiabank said, with purchases advancing 6% above a year earlier and setting a monthly record for October.
“We estimate that the annualized sales pace remained above 2 million units for the eighth time this year, pointing to ongoing strong consumer spending into the final months of 2017,” Scotiabank’s latest Auto News Flash said.
Light truck sales soared 14% above a year earlier, the report said, led by robust gains for crossover utility vehicles and pickup trucks. “The advance in light trucks was so strong that thirteen automakers reported double-digit year-over-year gains, while only one manufacturer posted sales below a year ago,” Scotiabank said. “So far this year, light truck volumes have jumped 10%, while car sales have declined 2%.”
In the U.S., meanwhile, purchases were higher than expected last month, particularly with high-margin pickup trucks and crossover utility vehicles. “Car and light truck sales totalled an annualized 18 million units in October, defying expectations that buyers would pull back from September’s 12-year high,” the report said. “As in Canada, pickup trucks led the way in October, with volumes posting a double-digit year-over-year gain.”
Pickup trucks garnered a record 18% of the U.S. market last month, Scotiabank said, up from a full-year 2016 average of 15%. “This strong performance is being buoyed by strengthening consumer fundamentals and the highest consumer confidence since early 2004,” the report said. “Last month’s stronger-than-expected performance virtually guarantees that full-year 2017 purchases will exceed 17 million units for a record third consecutive year.” In prior cycles, the report noted, annual sales only exceeded 17 million in 2000 and 2001, at the end of the tech boom. “However, improving fundamentals and an aging vehicle fleet suggest that annual sales will remain at these levels for an extended period,” Scotiabank said.