Canadian car companies have tallied up the final sales numbers for 2016 and while it may have been a tough year in some provinces like Alberta, things have been better than ever for automakers.
Total sales increased 2.7% last year, hitting 1.948 million. The Big Three dominated the market, pulling in 43.6% of all sales in the country. However, the most interesting story the sales numbers tell is that Canadians are love buying luxury vehicles.
The kids are gone, the college costs are gone, the housing costs are paid for and they're treating themselves to vehicles. Nice vehicles
Jaguar — the luxury British automaker — saw sales increase by 134% last year. And while it may have only sold 3,034 cars compared to Ford’s 300,000, Ford only managed to grow sales by 9.3%.
Maserati, meanwhile, saw gains of 33.5% and Porsche sales grew 10.1%. The more popular luxury brands such as Mercedes and BMW increased sales less dramatically, but still recorded their best years ever selling cars to Canadians.
Dennis DesRosiers, of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, says that the strong growth in the luxury segment stems from higher demand from baby boomers with more disposable income at their fingertips. Many boomers are at a stage in life where they don’t need to worry about their kids and are looking forward to a comfortable retirement.
“The kids are gone, the college costs are gone, the housing costs are paid for and they're treating themselves to vehicles. Nice vehicles,” he said.
DesRosiers also told the Canadian Press that the auto market may have peaked last year. He expects interest rates will rise this year, making it less affordable to buy a new car (most Canadians finance their car purchases with debt).