By the end of this month, barring some economic apocalypse, Canadian new-vehicle dealers and the manufacturers they represent will be celebrating a new all-time annual sales record.
November's sales of 133,860 units, continuing six consecutive months of record sales, have set the stage for what is little less than a sure bet that 2013 will become the best-selling year for new cars and trucks in Canada's history.
It will only take about 80,000 sales in December – a month in which sales typically top 100,000 – to top the 1.71-million unit mark set in 2002,
November's new-vehicle sales were up 6.5% from the same month in 2012, which was itself the second-best sales year in history. Year-to-date sales through November are running 4.0% ahead of last year's.
Ford remained the best-selling manufacturer for the month and the year, although its sales were relatively flat (+1.2%) compared with November of last year. Ditto for third-place General Motors (+0.6%), but second-place Chrysler (+13.0%) "was on a tear," according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers.
Other mainstream brands to post significant gains included Subaru (+22.3%), Nissan (+19.9%), Mazda (+13.2%) and Honda (+12.7%). The only volume players to fall short of last November's levels were Hyundai (-1.0%) and Kia (-3.7%).
Light truck sales, including CUV/SUVs were up by 8.8% while those for passenger cars gained 3.5%.
No matter where the final numbers fall, it has been a very good year for dealers, automakers and consumers, who have benefitted from strong incentives on probably the best overall range of vehicles ever offered.