Sales of new vehicles in Canada fell for the 15th consecutive month in May as the industry showed no sign of shaking its slump.
Gains by Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai-Kia weren’t enough to offset another sharp decline at Fiat Chrysler and an estimated 13 percent drop at General Motors. Overall volume fell 5.8 percent -- the biggest monthly drop of the year, dragging the industry total down 4.5 percent through May.
David Adams, head of the Global Automakers of Canada, put the decline in a positive light.
“While it would be easy to focus on the fact that sales are down for another month in May…the reality is that even if sales were to fall five percent for the entire year, 2019 still promises to be one of the best sales years on record,” said Adams, whose group that represents 15 member based outside of Canada and the United States.
“If you were to apply the percentage that the market is down through May to the entire year, we would still come in at almost 1.9 million units, making 2019 one of the best sales years ever."
That may be little solace to an industry that hasn’t seen a monthly increase since February 2018. That month marked the start of a tailspin that led to an annual sales decline last year for the first time since the Great Recession.
Total sales last month came in at 203,343 vehicles, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit. Monthly sales totals are now estimates because General Motors Canada, one of the biggest sellers in the country, only provides sales information on a quarterly basis in both Canada and the United States.
Ford, meanwhile, no longer provides a monthly breakdown by model.
Despite its best month of the year by volume, FCA reported a May sales decrease of 25 percent.
The automaker sold 21,042 vehicles, down from the 28,193 it sold during the same month a year ago.
Every one of the automaker’s six brands posted losses of 18 percent or more.
Jeep sales were down 18 percent to 5,949 units. Only the Wrangler saw its sales increase, up 19 percent to 2,112 units. The automaker sold 166 Jeep Gladiators in May.
Chrysler sales fell 56 percent to just 701 vehicles with 300 sedan sales down 82 percent to 163. Pacifica sales were down 25 percent to 537. Both are assembled in Ontario.
Sales of the popular Ram truck were down 22 percent to 9,697 units.
Dodge sales were off 33 percent to 4,501 units with no model posting an increase.
Afla and Fiat sales were off 45 and 35 percent, respectively.