The spring selling season kicked off with gusto in April as sales of 178,703 new vehicle sales in Canada, up by 4.0% from the same period last year, set a new record for the month.
Just as important for the industry, the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) for the month was at an all-time high of 1.8 million, after falling back through the first quarter.
For the first time this year, Ford topped the sales charts in April – albeit by a slim margin of just more than 300 vehicles over Chrysler (27,334 to 27,019), which recorded its 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year monthly sales increases.
Chrysler had led the sales race for each of the first three months and continues to lead the year-to-date results by a healthy margin of almost 7,000 vehicles.
Ford's sales actually fell by 2.0% in April, relative to last year, while Chrysler's improved by 5.2%. General Motors ranked third, with sales up by 1.5%, followed by Toyota (+2.5%) and Hyundai (+5.9%) – the latter regaining fifth place from Honda (+3.2%), for both the month and year to date.
April's biggest gainers in percentage terms were Infiniti (+37.9%), among luxury brands, and Nissan (+29.1%), among the volume players. On the other side of the ledger, Volvo (-28.1%) and Mini (-16%) led the losers.
Truck sales, once again, increased at a faster pace than car sales (6.7% vs 0.7%).