Vehicle sales are, by nature, cyclical. The automotive industry can see surges that last for months on end, and then year-over-year drops that never seem to end.
In Canada we are currently in the midst of the second scenario. The last month to record an increase in vehicles in comparison with the same month the year before was February 2018. Since then, the total number of vehicle units sold each month has been lower than the equivalent period the year prior. The losing streak now stands at 16 months.
Beyond that streak, June’s sales drop was particularly drastic. And even though no one in the industry admits to feeling any panic for the moment, the last several months have been characterized by drops across many manufacturers.
June 2019’s final totals show 9.5% fewer sales compared with June 2018.
General Motors saw sales decline by an eye-opening 22%. Mazda was barely better at 20%. And it goes one: Nissan saw a drop of 13%, Honda 10%. FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) sold 4% fewer vehicles compared to last year, while Toyota registered 2% fewer sales.
Decreases were also reported by Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Subaru and Ford for June.
Nor were the luxury carmakers spared the pain. Mercedes-Benz saw its sales plummet 19%, while BMW sold 16% fewer vehicles in June. At Audi? A head-shaking 30% drop.
In some cases, pulling back to a wider view creates a more optimistic portrait. Automakers Tesla, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia are still ahead for car sales this year-to-date compared to 2018.
Overall, 182,279 vehicles were sold in the month of June, for a 2019 year-to-date total of 984,627. That represents a decrease of 5.3% in comparison with 2018.
In the middle of all this, the trend towards SUVs and trucks continues, with 73% of total vehicle sales in June coming in those categories.