Canada car market: 16th month of falling sales
Automotive sales in Canada dropped 7.2% in June, compared to the same month last year. It’s the country’s 16th consecutive monthly drop in auto sales.
In the first half of this year, about 980,000 new vehicles were registered in Canada, down from just over 1 million from January to June 2018.
The Canadian market’s slowdown is hitting virtually all top sellers across the board: Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler are all reporting lower sales.
According to Toronto-based DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, who released the latest monthly figures, Canada’s car market is in a corrective phase.
The company says most vehicles are built to last around a decade, or around 300,000 km. Since most consumers bought new vehicles in the early part of the cycle and are holding on to them for now, the market is saturated. DesRosiers expects this downward trend to continue for the remainder of this year, and possibly into 2020.
Harder to explain is the decline of the luxury vehicle segment. Usually a reliable grower – from 7.1% of the overall market in 2008 to 12.1% in 2018 – this segment has been declining since January. Mercedes-Benz dropped 17.7% in H1 2019, compared to the same period last year. Audi declined by more than 20% and BMW was down 6.6%.
Despite declining sales, actual car ownership is up, and in fact has never been higher. In 2000, 17 million Canadians owned a vehicle or about two-thirds of the overall population at the time. Right now, that figure stands at 28 million, or about 86% of the current overall population.
Despite a slight drop (-0.9%), Ford remained Canada’s top-selling brand in H1 2019, with 154,203 units sold; followed by GM (132,903; -14.2%) and Fiat Chrysler (117,746; -12.7%). Toyota, in fourth place, posted gains: 108,047, up 3.3%.
Ford’s market dominance is due in large part to its popular F-series, in particular the latest version of its F-150 heavy pickup truck (pictured).