New vehicle sales in Canada topped one million units in the first half of 2017, putting the marketplace on a track to top two million for the first time ever, thanks to the compact sport utility and full-size pickup truck segments.
According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadians bought 206,463 compact sport utilities between January and June of this year, and 202,397 large pickups, with those figures representing increases of 4.2 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.
DesRosiers noted even bigger gains in several other segments: sales of subcompact utilities were up 22.1 per cent, and small pickup sales rose by 20.9 per cent. Other notable sales increases happened in the compact luxury sport utility category (15.1 per cent) and large luxury cars (14.5 per cent).
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Those increases were tempered by major sales declines in two car segments: Subcompact car sales were down 26.2 per cent, and those of intermediate cars fell 12.1 per cent.
Canada's new vehicle sales have been increasing steadily since a low of 1.46 million in 2009, the year after the major economic downturn that dampened the country's economy the year before. By 2015, sales had risen to 1.9 million, and nearly reached 1.95 million in 2016.