July 7, 2004

“Great products” and “heavy incentives” help push June vehicle sales up 2.1%

Vancouver, B.C. – Canadian vehicle sales were up by 2.1% to 150,432 in June. Most of the increase was on the truck side with light truck sales increasing 4.5% and passenger car sales increasing 0.2%.

Gainers included Mazda (+21.9%), Honda (+8.4%), DaimlerChrysler (+8.3%), Toyota (+7.9%), General Motors (+6.8%), Subaru (+4.4%), Nissan (+3.7%), and Suzuki (+2.7%).

“In almost every case, the better performance related to great new products – witness the Mazda3 – or heavy incentives,” said Dennis Desrosiers of Desrosiers Automotive Consultants. “We saw a continuation of the very heavy sales incentives throughout the month and at some point there will have to be a pay back for the sales drawn forward,” he warned.

Sales decliners in June included Mitsubishi (-45%), Hyundai (-18.3%), Kia (-12%), Ford (-7.6%), and Volkswagen (-2.5%).

“Ford was down but they seem to be willing to sacrifice a little market share for better pricing and profits,” said Desrosiers. “Hyundai and Kia are down in the face of the five new entry-level vehicles introduced by GM.”

For the first time in a long time, luxury vehicle sales were down across the board in June, with the exception of BMW which had an increase of 20.1% compared to June of 2003. Decliners included Jaguar (-19.5%), Audi (-13.5%), Lexus (-12.1%), Land Rover (-8.7%), Saab (-7.9%), Infiniti (-5.6%), Porsche (-5.5%), Volvo (-4.7%), Acura (-2.3%), and Mercedes-Benz (-1.8%).

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