Canadian auto sales figures from December will help paint a final picture of 2011, which is on track to beat volumes reported in the years since the last recession.
TORONTO: Canadian auto sales figures from December beat volumes reported in the years since the last recession.
Automakers sold 1.59 million vehicles in 2011, up from 1.56 million in 2010, according to data released by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. They’ve seen uneven but rising sales this year, with growth positive one month and negative the next, as economic uncertainty pervaded consumer sentiment.
Sales in December grew 2.6% from the last month of 2010, capping off the year with the third consecutive month of sales growth. Overall light vehicle sales grew 1.8% in November.
The figures for 2011 far outpaced the 1.46 million sold in 2009 – the worst sales year for the industry since 1998. But, 2011 sales were well short of their pre-recession levels of 1.64 million units in 2008 and 1.65 million in 2007.
Analysts predict 2012 sales will be in line with volumes seen last year as recession in Europe, slower growth in emerging markets and an uncertain economic and political climate in the US continue to weigh on consumer sentiment.
Truck sales grew 4.7% last year, while car sales fell by about 1.6 per cent.
Import vehicles captured slightly more market share than their domestic counterparts, holding steady with 2010 figures at about 53% of the market.
Ford Canada, the sole Detroit big three automaker that eschewed government bailouts during the recession, claimed the title of Canada’s top-selling automaker in 2011 for the second year in a row.
The Detroit-based automaker said its Canadian vehicle sales were up 3% to 275,978 from 267,974 in 2010, led by strong sales of SUVs and crossover vehicles.
Full-year car sales were up 14%.
© 2012 The Canadian Press