Some of the world’s biggest automakers appear to have turned the corner when it comes to Canadian sales.
Total third-quarter sales were down 11.8 per cent to 387,435, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
However, the Detroit Three posted double-digit gains by percentage during the third quarter, up a combined 17.9 per cent.
“There were remarkable [third-quarter] sales gains by the Detroit Three, although it should be noted that a good portion of these gains were a recovery from the difficult summer of 2021 when these companies were hit early and hard by semiconductor shortages,” DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said in a statement.
General Motors was the biggest gainer, up 27.6 per cent to 62,075.
Sandor Piszar, vice-president, sales, service and marketing at General Motors Canada in a statement called his company’s rebound impressive.
“GM Canada’s results this quarter reflect sustained customer demand combined with improvements in vehicle production and dealer deliveries,” Piszar said.
He also said truck production in Ontario is a reflection of strong demand.
Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD had their best third-quarter Canadian sales ever, and their best calendar-year-to-date sales, according to GM Canada.
“These [sales] results also demonstrate the full impact of Oshawa Assembly, which is building both light-duty and heavy-duty pickups across three shifts of production.”
Meanwhile, Stellantis sales increased 14.7 per cent to 40,958, and that includes a slumping Jeep brand — usually a workhorse for the automaker — which saw third-quarter sales fall 8.1 per cent to 13,830.
Dodge and Ram sales did all the heavy lifting, with sales up 74.4 per cent to 3,202 and 32.3 per cent to 20,872, respectively.
Year to date, Stellantis sales are up 6.9 per cent to 130,729.
The Dodge Durango, which the automaker calls “a three-row muscle car,” set a record for the quarter with 2,373 sold. And the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, both built in Ontario, saw year-over-year increases of 80 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.
“Our solid momentum through 2022 continued in the third quarter thanks to a strong product mix on the ground and the efforts of our dealers,” FCA Canada CEO David Buckingham said in a statement.
FCA Canada is a division of Stellantis and hasn’t yet change its corporate name to reflect the merger between FCA and PSA Group.
Ford, which didn’t immediately comment on its sales, posted a third-quarter increase of 12.2 per cent, up to 70,330 sold.
However, it wasn’t all gains in the quarter for automakers.
Honda sales plunged 37.1 per cent to 27,543 while Toyota sales fell 22.7 per cent, down to 50,626 vehicles delivered. Nissan sales were nearly halved, down 41.7 per cent to 16,438.
“Looking at the market for Q3 and YTD clearly illustrates the split evident in the market depending upon vehicle availability,” DesRosiers said in its statement.
SEPTEMBER SALES DOWN
On a monthly basis, DesRosiers estimates sales were down 4.5 per cent to 130,421. Monthly sales figures are estimates because a vast majority of automakers report only quarterly.
DesRosiers said it was the lowest September sales total since 2009.
Andrew King, managing partner of DAC said the September decrease was “one of the smallest [monthly] declines seen so far this year.
“However, the split in performance between companies was remarkable – and it would be foolish to get too optimistic until the recovery has a broader base of participants,” he said.
Meanwhile the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate came in at 1.48 million.
SALES STRUGGLE TO CONTINUE
U.S.-based automotive analysis firm AutoForecast Solutions is warning that 2022 is poised to be the worst sales year by volume since 2008 and the second worst in nearly 25 years, noting “Canada continues to struggle with light vehicle sales.”
Scotiabank Economics, in its most recent Global Auto Report, said it expects a rebound in 2023 as pent-up demand continues to unwind, despite rising costs.
“We expect sales to pick up in 2023 to 1.8 million units on the back of improved supply and strong pent-up demand in Canada,” the financial institution said.