Auto sales down 5.9 per cent in May as downward trend continues

TORONTO—DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. says light vehicle sales fell an estimated 5.9 per cent in May from a year earlier as a downward trend in Canadian auto sales continued.

The automotive consultant says light vehicle sales totalled about 202,800 for the month, down from 215,407 a year earlier.

The dip in May marked the 15th consecutive month of sales declines when compared with the previous year.

A consumer shift away from passenger cars towards generally higher-emission SUVs and pickup truck options continued in May, with car sales down 17.4 per cent for the month while light truck sales declined only 0.4 per cent.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles saw sales drop 25.4 per cent from a year earlier for the biggest drop in sales. The dip comes as FCA is in talks on a merger with French producer Renault.

DesRosiers says General Motors, which switched to quarterly reporting in April, saw sales drop an estimated 12.5 per cent, while Honda was down 4.9 per cent and Ford slipped 1.6 per cent. Toyota, the fourth-biggest seller in Canada, saw sales climb nine per cent.