Canadian Plastics

Record-setting vehicle sales resumed in Canada in January: report

But daily rental volumes dampened U.S. sales, the report from Scotiabank said.

February 4, 2018   Canadian Plastics

The record-setting pace of vehicle sales in Canada resumed in January 2018, a new report from Scotiabank said, with sales rebounding from two consecutive months of year-over-year (y/y) declines.

“We estimate that purchases surpassed an annualized 2.1 million units last month, setting a record for January,” Scotiabank said in its latest Auto News Flash. “The advance was broadly-based with eight automakers reporting double-digit year -over-year sales gains.”

Sales in light trucks “powered the way,” the report said, with volumes surging 9% above a year earlier. “This represents a further acceleration from the 8.5% y/y increase reported during all of 2017,” Scotiabank said. “As in previous months, imported models posted the strongest gains, with light truck volumes surging 17% above a year earlier. In contrast, car sales declined 3% below a year earlier, with thirteen automakers reporting lower car sales last month.”

In the U.S., meanwhile, auto sales got off to a sluggish start, Scotiabank said, undercut once again by a sharp decline in sales to the daily rental industry. “We estimate that sales totalled an annualized 17.1 million last month, down from a robust 17.7 million during the final three months of 2017, and nearly 2% below the projected sales pace for the month,” the report said. “Fleet volumes plunged 16% below a year earlier for the Detroit 3 and accounted for most of the weakness.”


In contrast, sales of imported brands in the U.S. were in-line with expectations, the report said, even as two Asian automakers posted sharp year-over-year declines. “Light trucks captured a record share of the U.S. market last month, as crossover utility vehicles garnered more than 39% of the market, up from less than 35% a year ago,” the report said. “The shift towards light trucks has prompted automakers to continue to boost assemblies of crossovers and pickup trucks, while slashing their car production nearly 10% y/y in the opening months of 2018.”

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