Market Snapshot: Trucks Account for Larger Share of New Vehicle Sales

Release date: 2016-01-13

Recent new vehicle sales data from Statistics Canada indicates that trucks are outselling carsFootnote 1. The “truck” category includes medium to heavy-duty vans, pick-ups, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). In the 2005-2009 time period, the market was split approximately evenly between car and truck sales. Since then, the gap has been widening, and in 2014 (the last full year of data), a record 65 per cent of new vehicle sales were trucks.

Figure Source and Description

Source: Statistics Canada, Cansim 079-0003

Description: The line graph shows the relative share of new car sales versus new truck sales, with the latter including medium to heavy-duty vans, pick-ups, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). In the period 2005-2009, sales were split approximately evenly between cars and trucks. From 2010 onwards, a preference for trucks has emerged and been increasing. In the last full year of data (2014), the preference reached its highest point, with truck sales accounting for 65 per cent of new vehicle sales.

Despite this growing preference for larger vehicles, Canadian gasoline demand in the last few years has been relatively flat. This may be attributed to improvements in vehicle efficiency and changing demographics, including an older average driving age and less interest among younger Canadians in driving and owning vehicles.

Long-term demand projections for Canada and the U.S. forecast decreasing gasoline sales over the next 10 yearsFootnote 2. These projections are based on underlying fundamentals, including tightening federal vehicle emissions standardsFootnote 3, economic conditions, and changing driver demographics. The increasing consumer preference for trucks, combined with overall record-high new vehicle sales in 2014, may challenge these projections, although the long-term implications of these developments are currently unclear.

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