Canadian Manufacturing

No end in sight for global auto sales streak

Despite slowing sales in Canada, the global industry is expected to post its ninth-consecutive annual record in 2018, a Scotiabank report says

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Sales growth in numerous Asian countries, not including China, is expected to reach 10 per cent this year. PHOTO: Daimler

TORONTO—With strong global economic growth, the nearly decade-long auto industry boom isn’t expected to continue barreling down the straightaway again this year.

According to a new Scotiabank report, global car sales are expected to increase again this year for a ninth consecutive time, fuelled by healthy financial conditions around the world.

The analysis projects auto sales to increase 1.5 per cent in G7 nations—a region that accounts for about half of total sales.

“Stronger economic growth and replacement demand are expected to drive sales higher in North America and Western Europe during 2018,” said Carlos Gomes, a senior economist and auto industry specialist at Scotiabank. “We also anticipate that developing markets, which accounted for more than 85 per cent of the increase in global sales last year, will continue to lead growth going forward.”

Though sales are expected to increase in the U.S., Canadian vehicle sales will likely pull back from the record 2.04 million units sold last year. The report forecasts sales of a flat two million this year.

Developing markets in Asia, not including China, will contribute the most growth in 2018, the bank says. Numerous countries in the region, including Thailand and Philippines are expected to log double-digit sales growth this year.

Meanwhile, the report indicates electric vehicles will still only constitute a small portion of global sales. 99 per cent of vehicles sold this year will be traditional engine models, a figure that will fall to 90 per cent in a decade, the report says.

You can read the full report here.

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