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Canadian auto sales race toward record

New vehicle sales for August were best ever for the month

Published: September 5, 2013, 6:45 PM

New-vehicle sales in Canada were up 6.5% from the same month in 2012 – the fifth straight month of year-over-year sales increases. With 159,004 units sold, it was the best August in history for Canadian sales and well ahead of the 141,612-vehicle average for the past five years.

It was also the fifth straight month with an Seasonally-Adjusted Annual sales Rate (SAAR) at or above 1.7 million, increasing the now very-real probability that full-year sales will be the greatest ever, surpassing the 2002 record of 1,703,246 units. Last year's sales were the second-best ever, with 1,675,675 units sold.

"Unless the fourth quarter is a complete washout, it would appear that Canada is on its way to having record new vehicle sales in 2013," said David Adams, president of Global Automakers of Canada, the manufacturers' body representing import auto brands.

"Improved consumer confidence combined with the start of model-year clear-out programs has really energized sales in August," he said.

Ford (with sales up 7.1%) once again topped the sales charts, well ahead of Chrysler (+6.5%) and General Motors (+0.1%), which were in a near tie for second place, separated by just 709 units.

Toyota (-0.3%), Honda (+20.5%), Hyundai (+6.7%), Kia (-3.2%), Nissan (+31.2%), Mazda (+4.5%) and Volkswagen (+0.4%) completed the top ten. Year-to-date, through August, the order was the same, except that Hyundai was ahead of Honda and Nissan surpassed Kia.

With 45 straight months of year-over-year sales gains, Chrysler has shown the greatest improvement in market share – 0.5% – for the year-to-date.

Mercedes-Benz (+20.7% in August) has now taken a commanding lead over BMW (-15.4%) in the battle for luxury-brand sales supremacy, year-to-date.

Porsche (+25%) and Subaru (+24.6%) both set sales records for the month, while Jaguar (+125.5%) achieved the greatest year-over-year improvement.

Passenger-car sales (+7.2%) increased more than truck sales (+5.9%) for the month but trucks still outsold cars with a market share of 55.5%, maintaining their dominant 55.6% share for the year to date.