Only a few months ago, analysts were talking up the prospect of Canadian auto sales topping two million units for the first time in 2016.
Four months of modest sales declines since then have silenced that chat. The question now is whether sales can still beat last year’s record.
Barring any post-U.S.-election trauma, the prospects still look good. With 1.66 million sales in the bank through October, sales over the final two months would have to sag more than 15 per cent to drop the full year below 2015’s record 1.9 million.
In the third quarter, the decline was only 1.7 per cent, followed by an October 5.0-per cent decline that was based on two fewer selling days.
One 2015 record that certainly won’t repeat is FCA Canada topping the sales charts. After coming close in 2014, FCA beat Ford for the title in 2015. But its reported sales have gone south since it changed its sales-reporting protocol mid-year and Ford looks to have a lock on regaining the title it has otherwise held since 2010.