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Canadian auto sales record in sight for 2015

GM was the top-selling automaker in November for the second month in a row

Published: December 2, 2015, 4:50 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:22 PM

2015 - Upturned graph

In November, for the 32nd consecutive month, auto sales in Canada outpaced their performance in the same month the year before. They set a record for the month with 145,426 new vehicles sold, an increase of 4.7% from the previous record set just a year ago.

Year-to-date sales of 1,769,611 vehicles are 2.9% and almost 50,000 vehicles ahead of the same point last year, which means that, unless some disaster intervenes in December, 2015 will be the best-selling year ever – by a big margin.

"If December sales match last year’s total of 131K units then the market will have exceeded 1.9-million units for the first time ever," said industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC).

Reinforcing the strength of the market, the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate (SAAR) for November was 1.96 million according to DAC, which is the highest ever for the month.

General Motors tops sales chart 

Winners & Losers, January 2016 - WINNER – General Motors – Although its results were far from spectacular, GM's sales were up by 5.3% in January – the only one of the Detroit three to beat the industry average – and enough to bump its market share a couple tenths while theirs declined. Call GM a Winner in January.

As it did in October, General Motors topped the sales charts in November with sales up 13.2% for the month. FCA (formerly Chrysler) claimed second place with a 0.6% increase, slightly ahead of Ford, which improved sales by 3.1%.

Year-to-date, however, FCA ( 1.0%) remains in first place with a lead of more than 12,000 units over Ford (-3.9%). That margin all but guarantees that FCA will finish the year on top of the charts, displacing Ford which has held that position for the past five years.

Of the three Detroit automakers, however, General Motors has made the greatest improvement during the year, regaining 0.4% of market share while FCA dropped 0.3% and Ford 1.1%.

Behind those three in November, Toyota ( 3.4% from the same month a year ago) maintained fourth place, followed by Honda ( 2.3%), Hyundai ( 4.4%), Nissan ( 7.3%), Mazda ( 3.5%), Kia ( 3.2%) and Volkswagen, whose sales fell by 5.5% in the wake of its much-publicized emissions cheating scandal.

Year-to-date, the rankings follow the same order except that VW remains ahead of Kia based on its strong performance earlier in the year.

Trucks drive sales gains

Trucks (including CUVs and SUVs) continued to dominate November's results, with sales up 12.3% from the same month last year, to claim 65.1% of the market. Year-to-date, trucks now hold a 61.8% share.

2015 Ford F-150

In contrast, passenger car sales fell by 7.0% in November, reducing market share for the month to just 34.9%. Year-to-date, cars now hold 38.2% of the market.

The biggest gainers for the month were luxury or near-luxury brands: Volvo ( 38.3%); Land Rover ( 71.9%), Porsche ( 36.5%), Lexus ( 29.4%) and BMW ( 19.2%).

The few losers for the month were Smart (-85.4%), Jaguar (-12.4%),  Volkswagen (-5.5%), Acura (-4.0%) and Mercedes-Benz (-1.4%).

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