Canadian Manufacturing

SUVs continue to fuel Canadian auto sales

Luxury vehicles also a hot commodity as 2015 continues to outpace 2014

TORONTO—The year of the SUV continues, despite calls for better fuel efficiency and stricter emissions regulations.

Canadian auto sales in July were virtually flat against figures from a month ago, but again beat 2014 sales, inching up 0.4 per cent, largely due to a higher number of sales in the light truck category.

Light trucks, the category that includes vans, SUVs as well as pickups, gained 8.2 per cent versus 2014, climbing to 111,067 overall, while sales of regular passenger cars fell 10.3 per cent to 66,777, according to DesRosier Automotive Consultants.

Buyers were also driving off the lot with luxury vehicles in increasing numbers. Acura, Audi, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all posted double-digit gains versus July of 2014.

Overall vehicle sales are off to a good start in 2015, up 2.3 per cent year-to-date.

Among the largest auto brands, Nissan and Honda managed to move the marker the most, posting 9.6 and 7.7 per cent gains respectively. Hyundai and Fiat Chrysler also saw sales increases, each selling just over 2 per cent more vehicles than last year.

On the other hand, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagan all recorded losses. Toyota sales were relatively flat, down 0.8 per cent from a year ago.

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