Canadian new-vehicle sales fell for the sixth consecutive month in August, dipping 0.6 per cent to 183,258 units, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Rising interest rates are taking their toll, says the Global Automakers of Canada.
Year-to-date sales are also down 0.4 per cent to 1,401,675 units, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
“The economic fundamentals have remained strong in Canada,” Global Automakers of Canada President David Adams said in a statement. “However, higher interest rates and the fact that we are at the beginning of the end of a very good, protracted cycle of sales growth has contributed to the slight tailing off of sales that we have witnessed in Canada over the course of the last few months.”
The Bank of Canada on July 11 raised its overnight lending rate to 1.5 per cent, up from 1.25 per cent. A BoC rate hike often leads to lenders, including the financial arms of automakers, to raise their rates in lockstep.
Ford had a record month and sold the most vehicles — 29,230 in total — in August and retained the overall sales lead, and the Ford F Series pickup also remained Canada’s best-selling vehicle through August. The automaker sold more than 15,000 F series trucks last month. The Honda Civic was still the top-selling passenger car.
Despite some car models posting solid gains, the shift to trucks continued in August. Trucks comprised 70.8 per cent of the market in August compared with 67.9 per cent in 2017.
Here's a look at how some automakers fared in August:
NISSAN’S RECORD MONTH
Nissan Canada reported record August sales of 13,346 units, an increase of 1.4 per cent on the strength of two vehicles.
While the Rogue continued to be the automaker’s top-selling vehicle in Canada with 3,444 sold, volume was down seven per cent. But the Qashqai, leaped into second place having sold 2,047 units in August, up 31.5 per cent from a year ago.
Nissan also got a boost from its luxury Infiniti line as sales of the QX50 were up 156.8 per cent to 398 units.
Otherwise, only two other vehicles of the automaker’s 26 available models showed sales gains.
Sales of the Frontier truck were up just 0.3 per cent while sales of the Infiniti QX60 were up 0.5 per cent.
TOYOTA UP 2%
Toyota Canada posted a two-per-cent sales increase in August compared with the same month a year ago.
Sales of both cars and trucks were up, 1.2 and 3.2 per cent, respectively.
The automaker saw a surge in Tundra and Tacoma sales, by 38 per centand 15.7 per cent, respectively.
When it came to cars, the Camry and Prius led the way in sales increases, up 54.5 and 45.9 per cent.
Corolla sales were down slightly — 1.9 per cent — to 4,560 units.
Sales of the luxury Lexus brand slipped 1.5 per cent overall but the RX gained 22.3 per cent to 894 units.
Toyota’s total sales, including Lexus, are essentially flat this year, up 0.9 per cent.
GENESIS DRIVES SALES
Hyundai Canada sales were up 10.9 per cent in August as sales of the luxury Genesis line continue to grow for the small-volume automaker.
Genesis sales were up 236.4 per cent to 185 units.
Meanwhile, sales of mainstream Hyundai models were up 10.9 per cent.
FCA FALLS AGAIN
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales slide continued in August as sales dropped 10 per cent to 17,770 units compared with the same month a year ago.
It was an improvement over July sales, which were down 33 per cent.
Sales of every brand owned by FCA were down.
Jeep and Ram bled the least with sales down two and nine per cent, respectively. Jeep Wrangler sales were up 41 per cent while Cherokee sales climbed 27 per cent. But those gains couldn’t offset losses by the Compass (down 25 per cent), Grand Cherokee (down 44 per cent) and Renegade (down 69 per cent).
Dodge sales were down 17 per cent with the Caravan and Charger being the only vehicles post a gains, up two per cent and 67 per cent to 2,740 and 202 units, respectively.
The Ram brand was dragged down by slumping pickup sales, which were off 11 per cent to 7,185 units.
Chrysler Pacifica sales were down 42 per cent to 312 units.
This report and sales chart will be updated.