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Canadian auto sales rebound to record pace in June

Ford reclaims #1 spot in June but FCA still ahead year-to-date

Published: July 5, 2016, 4:35 AM
Updated: July 8, 2016, 3:04 PM

Upward Graph

After a brief downturn in May – the first in more than two years – auto sales in Canada bounced back with a vengeance in June and they’re once again on a record pace for the year. Sales of 191,088 new cars, trucks and utilities were up 7.4% from June 2015 and the highest ever for the month.

With the year half gone, cumulative sales of almost one-million units (989,177) – 6.0% greater than at this time last year – are also the highest ever for the period, setting the stage for a fourth consecutive annual sales record.

Reinforcing that probability, the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate (SAAR) bounced back to about 1.9-million units, after falling to 1.85-million in May, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. The current sales record of 1.899-million new vehicles was set in 2015.

Passenger car sales have been on the decline for the past couple years but they showed a slight revival in June, to the extent that their 2.9% sales decline from last year was less than has become the recent norm.

The real strength in the current market, however remains with truck and utility vehicle sales, which were up 13.9% in June. Year to date, trucks and utilities claim 65.0% of the market, compared to 35% for passenger cars.

Ford reclaims #1 spot

Ford and FCA (formerly Chrysler) have been trading turns at the top of the sales chart all year and Ford claimed the #1 position in June.

Ford - 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty

The ‘Blue Oval’ brand sold 28,699 vehicles – an increase of 7.2% from the same month a year ago. FCA was a close second, however, with 27,776 sales, up just 2.1% from last year.

FCA maintained the year-to-date sales lead, as it has done since January, however, with 152,439 units sold ( 2.9%). But Ford is closing in on that lead with 149,842 ( 11.7%) sales at the half-way point. In terms of market share, Ford has gained seven-tenths, climbing to 15.1%, while FCA lost five-tenths, down to 15.4

Their battle for sales supremacy promises to continue through the second half of the year.

In third place, General Motors sales improved by 7.5% from June 2015, and they’re up 2.3% year-to-date as well. But GM has lost four-tenths of a percent of market share from this time last year, down to 13.2%.

Behind those leaders, Toyota ( 7.9%) in fourth and Honda ( 4.0%) in fifth maintained their places. But a huge sales surge by Hyundai ( 41.3%) brought it within 72 units of catching Honda for the month, although they’re still well apart year-to-date.

They were followed by Nissan ( 13.3%), Kia ( 14.0%), Mazda (-2.2%) and Volkswagen (-21.2%) in that order – although Subaru ( 10.7%) came within 300 units of surpassing the beleaguered German brand. Its year-to-date sales are down by 14.2% and it has given up eight-tenths of a percent in market share – more than any other brand.

The only other automakers to show sales declines at the mid-year point are Acura (-12.3%) and Mazda (-2.2%).

The biggest gainer in June was Jaguar – up 175.5%, thanks primarily to the arrival of its new F-Pace SUV. Hyundai ( 41.3%), Volvo ( 17.9%), Land Rover ( 15.%) and Audi ( 15.1%) also made solid gains in June.

[NOTE: Data quoted in this report were sourced from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Global Automakers of Canada and individual automakers.]