Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian auto sales off to a strong start after record-breaking January

Sales of light trucks, a category that includes SUVs, owned nearly three-quarters of the market, a near-record showing as passenger car sales slump

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Passenger cars, however, did not help numbers, sales slumped 2.6 per cent compared to the previous month. PHOTO: Toyota

RICHMOND HILL, Ont.—DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says new light vehicle sales in Canada bucked expectations to reach an all-time record for the first month of the year.

The consulting firm says auto sales reached 117,300 in January, up 5.7 per cent from the same time last year.

Continued demand for light trucks, which hit a near record of 73.2 per cent of the market, were up 9.1 per cent from December.

Sales of passenger cars slumped, down 2.6 per cent from the previous month.

Looking at volume, FCA led the field with sales of 17,761 new vehicles, followed by General Motors at 16,791 and close behind, Ford, at 16,461.

DesRosiers says it’s too early to predict where the market will be in 2018, but suspects increasing interest rates may have prompted more buyers to lock in a low interest rate in January.

Canadians last year purchased more than two million vehicles for the first time thanks to record sales of light trucks.

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