Overall, manufacturing and demand continues to trend upward in 2021 as economic conditions continue to recover and consumer demand for vehicles remains buoyant.
By any stretch, 2021 has turned out to be an unpredictable year for the auto industry.
For OEMs, the global semiconductor supply shortage continues to hamper new vehicle production while pent-up demand for vehicles has, in many cases created a sellers’ market for those dealers who are able to access inventory.
For Q3 2021, Global Automakers of Canada (GAC) member automakers delivered a total number of 292,085 light vehicles, which although slightly down from the same period in 2020 (-2.3%), total volumes for 2021 are still tracking higher than 2020, with 813,483 vehicles sold to date during 2021, versus 663,141 through the same period last year (a 22.7% increase).
Light trucks continue to gain
Year-over-year, Q3 statistics show that light trucks (pickups and SUVs) continue to gain market share at the expense of passenger cars, despite ongoing supply shortages.
In Q3 2021, GAC members shifted 84,539 passenger cars—an 8.2% decline from the same period in 2020.
Light truck demand rose slightly year-over-year—0.3% with 207,546 units sold, versus 206,881 for the same period in 2020.
Year-to-date volumes for GAC member light trucks are up 29.6% during 2021, with 585,490 units sold so far this year, versus 451,766 during the same period in 2020 (a 29.6% gain).
Among individual brands, Q3 2021 has delivered mixed results over the same period a year earlier with supply constraints affecting some OEMs more than others.
On the volume side, some of the best performers during the quarter have been luxury brands such as Genesis, which saw a 41.2% gain in year-over-year sales, while BMW Group saw a 7.1% volume increase during the same period.
Moving forward, all trends point toward continuing volatility in the market, though as stated previously, overall, sales volumes are trending upward again.
Better than average
During an interview with Autosphere.ca, David Adams, President of the Global Automakers of Canada said that compared to the market overall, some GAC member OEMs have performed significantly better than average during 2021 and in some cases, even better than pre-pandemic totals back in 2019.
Adams does note however, that market conditions continue to be very much a mixed bag, with semiconductor shortages and additional supply chain disruptions continuing to hamper the industry and individual OEMs to varying degrees.
Despite this, Adams acknowledges a bit of a silver lining to the situation in terms of profitability per unit sold.
“I think everybody wishes they had more inventory but given how consumer demand continues to impact vehicle prices, dealers have been making some healthy pretty margins on the vehicles that they have been able to obtain.”