Young man in driver's seat of a Chrysler car

Sales of new cars drop for 15th-straight month in Canada

Sales of new cars in Canada saw their biggest drop of the year in May, which also marked the 15th consecutive month where car sales fell across the country. 

There were 203,343 new cars sold last month according to data from Automotive News Canada — a 5.8% drop from May 2018, when there were 215,972 sales. Sales have not increased month-over-month since February 2018, and last year was the first since the 2009 recession where annual sales numbers declined rather than grew. 

Sales figures are only estimates, since General Motors Canada, one of the country’s biggest sellers, only provides quarterly numbers. Another seller, Ford, no longer breaks down its numbers by model. 

While General Motors saw a 13.1% year-over-year drop in sales, the company was only average when it came to its May sales performance. The biggest drop in sales came from Alfa Romeo (-45.4%), Chrysler (-56.4%), Dodge (-32.9%) and Fiat (-35.3%). 

The declines were so steep, Automotive News Canada noted, that they couldn’t be offset by sales gains at Toyota (9%), Nissan (1.8%), Subaru (6.6%) and Hyundai-Kia (3.9%). 

Still, David Adams, head of the Global Automakers of Canada, was optimistic about the figures when he talked to Automotive News Canada. 

“While it would be easy to focus on the fact that sales are down for another month in May… the reality is that even if sales were to fall five per cent for the entire year, 2019 still promises to be one of the best sales years on record,” he said. The Global Automakers of Canada represents 15 members involved in the manufacturing, importation, distribution and servicing of cars in the U.S. and Canada. 

“If you were to apply the percentage that the market is down through May to the entire year,” Adams added, “We would still come in at almost 1.9 million units, making 2019 one of the best sales years ever.”