Canada LV Sales Set March Record

Canada LV Sales Set March Record

Canadian dealers sold more new LVs last month than in any March in history, thanks to benchmark light truck deliveries.

Concern about a possible slowdown in the Canadian economy in coming months wasn’t enough to keep a record number of light-truck buyers from turning up at the country’s dealerships last month, a feat that propelled total light-vehicle deliveries to a new March high.

The light-truck market strength more than offset declining car sales, pumping total LV volume to 159,840 units, or 6,394 daily, a 9.1% increase from the prior March record of 158,114 vehicles set in 1988 at a daily rate of 5,856 units.

That also marked a 5.9% jump from the 156,908 units sold over 24 days March last year.

The complete market turnaround since 1988 is evidenced by the fact that it was record-March sales of 109,401 cars that pushed the industry to a new level 27 years ago, while the 2015 peak was due to record light-truck volume.

Consumers took home an average of 3,858 new light trucks on each of 25 selling days in March for a total of 96,464 units.

That was a 9.5% gain on the prior March record of 91,627 set a year ago, when sales averaged 3,524 units on each of 24 days, marking the third consecutive year of record-March light truck deliveries.

In the charts, car sales eked out a 1.0% daily-rate gain on year-ago only because there was one less selling day in March 2015, as volume fell to 63,376 units from 65,338 in like-2014.

Overall it was third-poorest tally in the last 30 years.

FCA Canada remained solidly entrenched in first place with a 5.7% year-over-year March sales increase, thanks to a 7.5% improvement in light-trucks that offset a 3.9% shortfall in car deliveries.

Even a 7.0% hike in sales of its all-new F-series pickup wasn’t enough to get Ford out of second place, due to its 1.1% overall sales decline.

The industry’s March performance brought its first-quarter performance to a close at a record 367,713 units, edging past the prior LV benchmark of 363,279 set in 2008 while besting the 357,862 vehicles delivered a year earlier by 2.8%.

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