February 2, 2005

Canadian vehicle sales down 4.3% in January

Toronto, Ontario – Vehicle sales in January were 4.3% lower than they were in January of 2004, according to monthly sales figures released by Desrosiers Automotive Consultants.

Most of the decline was in passenger car sales rather than truck sales. Passenger car sales dropped 8.3% while light truck sales dipped 0.1%.

Among the major automobile manufacturers, Mazda plummeted 34.1%, General Motors dropped 20.4%, Volkswagen fell 10.1%, Honda slid 4.9%, and Toyota dipped 2.3%.

Nissan sales jumped 29.9%, DaimlerChrysler sales rose 21.2%, Kia increased 19.6%, Hyundai rose 2.5%, and Ford edged up 1.9%.

“One has to be very cautious reading anything into January sales data,” cautioned Dennis Desrosiers. “January is always the weakest sales month on the year typically about half the number of vehicles Canadians buy in the biggest sales month in May.”

“All the games played by the various OEM’s are also revealed come January. Some, not all, OEM’s push a lot of product out the door in December to meet year-end sales targets, take advantage of selected incentive programs and get selected vehicles onto the best selling list. They don’t actually sell the vehicles in December they just file the retail delivery records so that they are recorded as sales.”

Desrosiers predicts 2005 will be a difficult year in the Canadian market and is expecting sales to decline to a little more than the 1.5 million range. They were 1.535 million last year. “There is nothing in the January data that makes us change our minds,” he added.

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