May 5, 2005

Canadian auto sales up four percent in April

Canadian auto sales rose 4.0 percent in April over the same month last year, the second highest April on record, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

Total vehicle sales were 163,185 for the month of April and 489,546 for the year to date, up 2.4 percent over the same period last year.

Big gainers for the month included Mercedes-Benz (+25.7%), Honda/Acura (+16.6%), Nissan/Infiniti (+17.1%), Mazda (+11.5%), Volvo (+11.8%) and Toyota (+12%). Ford was slightly above the market for the first time in a long time with a 4.9 percent increase, GM was slightly below the market with an increase of 1.9 percent and DCX for the first time in a number of months was actually down substantially at minus 7.4 percent. BWM (+5.0%) sales rose as did sales at Hyundai (6.1%), Kia (4.1%), Porsche (9.5%) and Subaru (+1.0%). Down in April were Mitsubishi (-34.8%), Suzuki (-50.4%), Jaguar (-40.1%) and Volkswagen (-2.6%).

DesRosiers noted that model close out sales, with “huge, sometimes spectacular discounts,” could be one reason for surprisingly good sales in April. Despite being ahead of last year, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants have not revised their forecast for the year, which predicts two to three percent lower sales. Things that could slow the market include “a backing off on incentives by the OEMs, increases in interest rates, a softening economy, high insurance rates, high gas prices, lower resale values and a weak dollar.”

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