Large vehicle sales just keep on truckin' in Canada



‘Light truck’ sales dominate in 2017; Canadian market seemingly ‘at odds’ with EV advocacy

Utes and brutes.

In a nutshell, that’s what is driving vehicle sales in Canada these days.

For the first time in 2017, Canadian automobile sales cracked the two million mark, with a record 2,038,000-plus sold—a number that was dominated by sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks.

The so-called “light truck” category, which includes SUVs, vans and pickups, saw the majority of sales, at 68.6 percent—up 8.7% from 2016.

“The consumer is coming back to the market, with soaring demands for crossovers, but it’s also telling us that business investment is also strengthening, which is confirmed by a sharp improvement in pickup truck sales,” Scotiabank auto industry analyst and economist Carlos Gomes told the National Post.

On the flipside, Canadian passenger car sales dipped to their lowest level since 1964.

And what of electric vehicle (EV) sales? In spite of government efforts to boost adoption of EVs, General Motors—which moves more electric plug-in vehicles in Canada than any other car maker—said it sold 6,400 EVs in Canada in 2017.

That’s just 2.1% of GM’s total sales for the year.

Noted industry association Global Automakers of Canada: “These market dynamics seem to be at odds with policymakers both provincially and federally, who are working to try (and) educate consumers about the merits of zero-emission or near zero-emission vehicles—the majority of which tend to be mid-sized sedans, and not light trucks.”


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