Richmond Hill, Ontario – Light trucks, including pickups, SUVs and minivans, are down 16.8 per cent in Canada in 2008, accounting for only 47.3 per cent of sales through the first six months of the year, according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. Passenger car sales are also down, but only by 0.5 per cent.

“Light trucks initially exploded into the market in the early 1980s because our governments over-regulated passenger cars and the consumer got around these regulations by simply buying light trucks instead of passenger cars,” DesRosiers said. “Light trucks got an even bigger push when Chrysler launched the first mass-market minivan in 1984. And since that time, the market has seen the significant development of SUVs for personal use, and now crossover vehicles for personal use. Back in 1981, when I first started collecting sales information, it was rare for a consumer to buy a light truck for personal use. Now it is very common for consumers to buy a light truck for personal use, and indeed, most light trucks are designed for personal use rather than commercial use.”

Light trucks accounted for only 18.0 per cent of the market in 1981, and in 2007 accounted for 53.3 per cent. The peak year was 2004, when light trucks held 54.7 per cent of the North American market.

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