Canadian auto industry sets May sales record
Ford remains #1 despite a 2.3% sales decline; Toyota, Hyundai lag others.
TORONTO — Last month was the best May on record in terms of Canadian light vehicle sales, which were up 5.7& overall to 195,571 cars and light trucks, according to DesRosiers Automotive Reports.
“The big winners from a brand point of view can be broken out into two groups – the larger mass market brands and the smaller niche market brands,” DesRosiers said.
“Some of the smaller second-tier brands are blowing away all previous sales records and in many respects, are the key success story this year.”
Among the laggards were Ford Canada, which remained No. 1 in terms of sales volume despite a 2.3% decline from May 2013. Hyundai’s sales were down 5.2% while Toyota’s overall sales rose only 1%.
Nissan Canada had 28.9% growth, the most of any vendor with at least 10,000 sales per month. Niche players Land Rover rose 40.8% to 500 vehicles, Jaguar was up 38.9% to 150 vehicles and Porsche gained 32.2% to 530 vehicles.
Ford led the pack with 31,747 units sold in May, followed by Chrysler Canada with 31,302 units. Meanwhile, General Motors of Canada – once the auto sector’s undisputed market leader – said it had its best May since 2009, with sales rising 11.8% from a year ago to 26,444 vehicles.
Dennis DesRosiers said in an interview that General Motors wasn’t hampered by the unusually high number of recall notices issued by the company during the month, suggesting customers were more interested with its current products.
“They’ve got a lot of good products on the marketplace and they priced them well,” DesRosiers said. “I think consumers are seeing past the recalls.”
He said there have been so many recalls by so many automakers that consumers are less concerned about GM’s spate of announcements than the media have been.
The monthly DesRosiers automotive report shows that overall Canadian sales of cars and light trucks were up 5.7% from May of last year, rising to 195,571 from 185,040.
Trucks accounted for 111,035 of the vehicles sold in Canada last month, up 12.1% last year. Car sales totalled 84,536, down 1.7% from 86,012 a year ago.
Toyota Canada’s overall sales rose 1% to 22,465 from 22,250, although Toyota-branded sales were essentially unchanged while its Lexus luxury brand had a 14.2% increase to 1,789 from 1,566.
Honda Canada sold 18,512 units last month up 12% from 16,723 last year. Sales of its Acura-branded vehicles fell by 1.9% to 2,005 while Honda-branded sales were up 12% to 16,507.
Hyundai dropped 5.2% to 14,732, down from 15,544 in May 2013.
Nissan Canada Inc.’s total sales were 10,658 units, including 821 from the Infiniti division, an overall increase of 27.4%.
© 2014 The Canadian Press