Sunday, December 16, 2007

Slowdown in new car sales is slower than trucks

Following up on my last post, although I wasn't able to find the data for small cars specifically (for now, it seems that all sales data that is publicly reported in Canada lumps all car sizes into one "passenger cars" category; this needs to change!), there do seem to be some noticeable divergence in car sales vs. truck/SUV sales in Canada. In the last Statistics Canada New Motor Vehicle Sales report published November 15th, we find that 4% less passenger cars sold in September 2007 than a year before. In the same period, trucks and sport utility vehicle sales declined 5.2%. Canadians were buying less new vehicles, but the slowdown was more acute for bigger vehicles. This is consistent with the anecdotal reports I've heard of increasing sales of small and economy cars; my suspicion is that the passenger car data is being buoyed by this segment.

Interestingly, the slight positive lead in growth (if you want to call a slower slowdown a "lead", at least for September) for cars has only been evident back to July 2007. Before that, for a solid year, and generally prior to that, the truck and SUVs category was the one growing faster in Canada. It would seem that the Canadian addiction to larger vehicles is only barely starting to fade. Let's hope we don't fall off the wagon...

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