Global auto sales have moderated in recent months, undercut by double-digit declines in South America and Eastern Europe, as well as slowing purchases across Asia, according to the Scotiabank Global Auto Report released today. In contrast, volumes continue to improve in North America and Western Europe.

"Vehicle purchases continue to gain momentum across North America," said Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist and Auto Industry Specialist at Scotiabank. "New vehicle sales surged in the U.S. to an annualized 18.1 million units in September, the highest level in more than a decade. Sales are also at record highs in Canada and Mexico. In fact, Canadian passenger vehicle sales jumped to a record high of 1.98 million units last month, surpassing the previous peak set a year ago.

"Canadian used car prices have resumed their upward trajectory as rising demand for pre-owned models from Canadian households and foreign buyers have far exceeded a moderate increase in used vehicle supplies. In particular, the depreciation of the Canadian dollar over the past year has led to a surge in the number of used vehicles exported to the U.S."

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Even with used cars prices rising year-over-year in recent months, we estimate that used vehicle affordability in Canada remains at its highest level on record.
  • Used vehicle exports (excluding pickup trucks) are on target to approach 100,000 units this year, up from an average of 69,000 per annum since 2010.
  • The increase in cross-border shipments has been broad-based this year, with exports climbing in every province. However, Ontario dominates exports to the U.S.

For more information, read the full Scotiabank Global Auto Report online at,,3112,00.html.

Scotiabank provides clients with in-depth research into the factors shaping the outlook for Canada and the global economy, including macroeconomic developments, currency and capital market trends, commodity and industry performance, as well as monetary, fiscal and public policy issues.