Canadian new-vehicle sales fell for the sixth consecutive month in August, dipping 0.6 percent 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 percent 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 percent, up from 1.25 percent. 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.
General Motors said monthly sales plunged 10 percent to 26,066 vehicles. All four GM brands fell during the month, but GM said its calendar year-to-date sales for the period still rose 0.4 percent to 206,229 deliveries. GM said it's the best year-to-date figure for this period since 2008.
Despite some car models posting solid gains, the shift to trucks continued in August. Trucks comprised 70.8 percent of the market in August compared with 67.9 percent 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 percent 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 percent. But the Qashqai, leaped into second place having sold 2,047 units in August, up 31.5 percent from a year ago.
Nissan also got a boost from its luxury Infiniti line as sales of the QX50 were up 156.8 percent 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 percent while sales of the Infiniti QX60 were up 0.5 percent.
TOYOTA UP 2%
Toyota Canada posted a 2 percent 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 percent, respectively.
The automaker saw a surge in Tundra and Tacoma sales, by 38 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively.
When it came to cars, the Camry and Prius led the way in sales increases, up 54.5 and 45.9 percent.
Corolla sales were down slightly — 1.9 percent — to 4,560 units.
Sales of the luxury Lexus brand slipped 1.5 percent overall but the RX gained 22.3 percent to 894 units.
Toyota’s total sales, including Lexus, are essentially flat this year, up 0.9 percent.
GENESIS DRIVES SALES
Hyundai Canada sales were up 10.9 percent in August as sales of the luxury Genesis line continue to grow for the small-volume automaker.
Genesis sales were up 236.4 percent to 185 units.
Meanwhile, sales of mainstream Hyundai models were up 10.9 percent.
FCA FALLS AGAIN
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales slide continued in August as sales dropped 10 percent to 17,770 units compared with the same month a year ago.
It was an improvement over July sales, which were down 33 percent.
Sales of every brand owned by FCA were down.
Jeep and Ram bled the least with sales down two and nine percent, respectively. Jeep Wrangler sales were up 41 percent while Cherokee sales climbed 27 percent. But those gains couldn’t offset losses by the Compass (down 25 percent), Grand Cherokee (down 44 percent) and Renegade (down 69 percent).
Dodge sales were down 17 percent with the Caravan and Charger being the only vehicles post a gains, up two percent and 67 percent to 2,740 and 202 units, respectively.
The Ram brand was dragged down by slumping pickup sales, which were off 11 percent to 7,185 units.
Chrysler Pacifica sales were down 42 percent to 312 units.
This report and sales chart will be updated.