Sharp declines in October sales by some of the biggest automakers in Canada may mark a turning point for the industry.
Through the first nine months of the year, overall sales were up 3.2 per cent, as Canada appeared to be coasting to its fourth consecutive year of record demand.
But the fourth quarter started with a thud for most of the industry’s largest players.
General Motors fell 8.8 per cent from a year earlier while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dropped 13 per cent. Canadian sales of Toyota and Nissan vehicles were also down, 7.4 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively. Hyundai dropped 13.8 per cent.
How the industry as a whole fared may not be known for days.
A fire at Ford Motor Co. World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., on Monday shut down the automaker’s data centre, preventing it from recording U.S. and Canadian sales on the final day of the month. Ford said it will release sales figures later this week.
GM in a statement noted that there were two fewer selling days in October 2016 than there were a year ago. It also said its year-to-date sales are up one per cent.
FCA, meanwhile, was dragged down by two of its most- popular vehicles: the Dodge Journey and Caravan. Journey sales were down 34 per cent, while the Caravan fell 11 per cent.
Other automakers that saw sales slide include Volkswagen, down 11.1 per cent.
There were winners, though. Honda sales inched up 0.9 per cent. Subaru rose 9.7 per cent.
Luxury brands Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Porsche were up more than 10 per cent each, but those automakers represent a small portion of the overall market.