Pickups Reign Supreme In Canada
Dealertrack Technologies’ TradeTracker Used Vehicle Market Report reflected another solid month for trucks in Canada for the month of May, with the Ford F-150 continuing to top the charts as the vehicle most appraised overall at dealerships across the country, perpetuating three-month and year-long trends.
Another interesting angle, from that of the report’s brand of the month – Chrysler – is the vehicle most looked at by trade-in customers at Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealerships in Canada: the RAM 1500.
So what’s the deal with trucks? Auto Remarketing Canada reached out to a few Canadian dealers to see if they could provide some context.
Jim Williamson, the general manager and dealer principle for Williamson Chrysler in Uxbridge, Ontario, shed some light on the situation.
“It’s been a strong trend over the last few consecutive years of year-over-year growth in the truck segment,” Williamson said. “If you look back over the past 10 plus years, trucks have come a long way in technology, comfort, fuel economy and consumer acceptance.”
Williamson — a member of Auto Remarketing Canada's inaugural 40 Under 40 class — also says that part of the growth in the truck market comes from the increased stabilization of the Canadian economy. While many trucks are sought after for business use, the Uxbridge native says that the appeal is for more than just work.
“The other 85 percent of this market swing to trucks is the culture factor. More and more people are driving trucks because they fit all levels of lifestyles, from young families buying crew cabs and young buyers buying these trucks to lift and accessorize to baby boomers who are retired and driving trucks due to the level of utility it gives them,” Williamson said. “The typical truck of today is what a car was 15 years ago, good on fuel, provides great comfort and the doors are wide open for what you can use it for.”
As far as the used market is concerned, Williamson says his dealership sees quite a few trucks come back as trade-ins and that their demand remains strong.
“From the dealer side they are a very easy vehicle to convince your customer to trade due to the strong value they hold,” Williamson said. “I don’t know the statistics, but I believe trucks are usually some of the best product we have as used-car dealers. What I mean by that is the market seems to have a shorter trade-in cycle on used trucks, giving them lower mileage and better condition.”
There does appear to be one limitation to truck sales, though: they tend to sell primarily to customers in rural areas of the country.
“I believe the large number are from rural areas,” Williamson said. “I think as our urban areas grow and extra stress is put onto these major areas they are not designed for the truck lifestyle. Parking is an issue as well (as) the high traffic levels. It forces people to look past the truck to something that is easier to operate in those areas.”
That trend is reflected in May’s TradeTracker report, as the F-150 is followed by a host of smaller vehicles, including the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic sedan, Mazda Mazda3 and Ford Escape as the most-appraised vehicles in Canada.
Following year-long trends, the F-150 remained the domestic vehicle most appraised by domestic dealers, the Corolla held its spot as the import vehicle most appraised by import dealers, the Escape maintained its position as the domestic vehicle most appraised by import dealers, while the Mazda3 continued to be the import vehicle most appraised by domestic dealers.
As for Chrysler, the TradeTracker brand of the month, the off-make vehicle most appraised at Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge stores for the month of May, continuing a year-long trend, was — surprise — the F-150.