New auto sales record in sight for Canada

Barring some calamity, the annual record is set to fall about one week into December

Published: December 3, 2014, 4:25 AM
Updated: December 4, 2014, 6:39 PM

Pickup Trucks

With a full month left to go in 2014, new vehicle sales in Canada surpassed 1.7 million for the first time ever after 11 months. They've only topped that figure twice for a full year.

Last year's sales of 1,743,112 vehicles were the best ever and 2014's are fewer than 25,000 shy of that record already.

The lowest December sales figure in the last five years was about 109,000 so, barring some colossal economic calamity, a new record should be set about a week into December – and the end-of-year total seems set to surpass 1.8 million.

November represented the eighth straight month of sales records for the Canadian auto industry. November sales of 138,694 vehicles were up 3.6% from the same month last year and 21.6% above the five-year historical average for the month. Year-to-date sales through November are 5.4% ahead of those for the same period in 2013.

All that in the face of "flagging consumer confidence levels for the last three months," says David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada.

There's drama to match the success as Ford and Chrysler fight it out for sale supremacy for the year. With more than a quarter-million sales each, Ford leads Chrysler by just 2,576 vehicles through November.

Chrysler outsold Ford by about 700 units in December and December sales results are typically volatile so it could be a metaphorical photo finish come December 31.

As in past months, truck sales advanced at a greater rate than those for passenger cars in November – 9.4% vs  4.2% respectively. 

According to figures published by DesRosiers Automotive Reports, luxury cars were the consistently big gainers for the month, on a percentage basis. Porsche sales grew by 38.9%, Audi by 30.5%, Acura by 23%, Infiniti by 19.1% and Mercedes-Benz by 19.1%. Only BMW among the luxury brands fared poorer than last November (-8.0%).