Following nine consecutive record months and buoyed by December sales up 16.1% from last year, Canadian auto sales set a new record of 1.85-million vehicles in 2014.
For more than a decade, that record stood at 1.70-million, set in 2002. It was surpassed by 1.74 million sales in 2013, but 2014 blew past that milestone by more than 100,000 units, to a total of 1,851,373 new vehicles sold – 6.0% more than last year's record number.
As it has been for the past five years, Ford was the best-selling automaker with 291, 823 vehicles sold, but it edged out Chrysler by just 1,819 units.
Both automakers reported sales increases of around 40% in December. Ford's annual sales were up 3.0% over 2013, while Chrysler's increased by 11.5%. General Motors claimed third place ( 6.3%), with Toyota fourth ( 2.2%), Honda fifth ( 5.3%), Hyundai sixth, ( 0.7%) and Nissan seventh ( 27.3%).
Only those seven automakers achieved sales of more than 100,000 vehicles. Nissan was the fastest growing mass market brand with sales up 27.3%, while Porsche made the greatest improvement among niche brands, up 34.0%, according to DesRosiers Automotive Reports.
“Consumer confidence rebounded nicely in December for the first time since August, and when you combine that with low gas prices, and very attractive year-end manufacturers’ sales and financing, it is no wonder the year ended with a bang,” said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada.
With lower gas prices, truck sales claimed the majority of the growth at 63.5% of total sales. Truck sales for the full year represented 58.7% of total sales, compared to 56.1% in 2013.
Once again, the Ford F-Series pickup was the best-selling vehicle in Canada, while the best-selling passenger car was the Honda Civic for the 17th straight year.