On a few occasions we have mentioned that increasingly there are more individuals / pundits sharing their thoughts and spreadsheets on Canadian sales. Its a good thing!
By now you know our perspective, when you focus on the numbers, one perhaps gets immersed in the numbers and misses the bigger picture and view of what is truly developing.
With the myriad of programs that all manufacturers deploy as a monthly tactic to achieve results often monthly comparisons are strategically vague. Its the reason that at Strada we focus on quarterly reviews which provide increased insight and a deeper understanding.
If you have been in the auto business long enough to see various perspectives, from various levels, while having an opportunity to experience new vehicles from a variety of manufacturers the sales results become fascinating to say the least.
A few points:
- January 2012 was very strong, perhaps too strong!
- During 2012 there was a constant sense of exuberance by folks in the auto business comparing Canada to the US, conveniently forgetting that Canada did not take a sales hit like the US.
- During the second half of 2012, and especially during the last quarter the message was increasingly blunt that CSM (Citizen Main Street) is over extended.
- If homes and mortgages remain the central focus of CSM being over extended, lets not forget that vehicles remain the second most expensive acquisition after a home.
- In 2012 we saw the continued escalation of new vehicle loans above 72 months, accompanied by an increase in negative equity of vehicles being traded. Which prompted us to publish our first e-book Money for the Deal.
- Sales were good in Canada in 2012, and one was left wondering how much sales management was exercised at the end of 2012 by the various manufacturers. Not much...if any compared to the previous year.
- Momentum was slowing during the last quarter of 2012 - not a surprise.
- The truck segment went through the roof, with Chrysler - Ford - GM being the beneficiaries.
- Confirming that the love affair endures.
- It was a challenging month for most manufacturers in Canada.
- First time in several years that January generated lower sales than the previous year.
- Lets give everyone the benefit of the doubt, that in January they were slowly executing their startegy for 2013, while practicing their tactics.