Demand for trucks boosts January auto sales 3.4 per cent from a year ago

TORONTO – Demand for trucks helped automakers boost their January sales 3.4 per cent to 99,051 vehicles, while sales of passenger cars dwindled.

However, Scotiabank analyst Carlos Gomes says the “torrid” pace of growth in pickup truck sales has slowed to a single-digit gain, likely due to softening demand from the oil and gas industry.

Canadians bought 63,881 trucks in January, an 8.2 per cent increase from a year ago when they bought 59,041 trucks.

Meanwhile, sales of passenger cars slumped 4.2 per cent to 35,170, compared to January 2014 when Canadians snatched up 36,707 cars.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said General Motors was the only one of the three big American automakers that outperformed the overall Canadian market, with sales growing 5.3 per cent to 11,577 vehicles. Truck sales grew by 5.7 per cent to 8,753 from 8,283, while car sales increased by 4.3 per cent to 2,824, from 2,708.

Chrysler Canada sold 18,054 vehicles in January, up two per cent from the 17,698 it sold a year ago. While truck sales edged up 8.5 per cent to 16,306 from 15,023, car sales slipped nearly 35 per cent to 1,748, from 2,675.

Ford Canada also saw its car sales shrink while truck sales grew. The automaker sold 1,994 cars in January, down 28.5 per cent from the 2,787 it sold a year ago. However, truck sales climbed 7.2 per cent to 12,597, from 11,746 previously. In total, Ford sold 14,591 vehicles in January, up slightly from 14,533 a year ago.

Meanwhile, Nissan sold 7,122 vehicles, a 12 per cent boost from January 2014, when it sold 6,360.

Toyota’s sales grew 7.6 per cent to 10,249, while Honda’s slipped 3.9 per cent to 6,554.