Correct, even Canadians have been catching up, and they've always been one step behind in buying luxury vehicles compared to Americans. Now Canadian sales are ramping up.
Canadians have long prided themselves on having different (read: better) taste in vehicles than their American neighbours, with a penchant for small, sensible cars such as the best-selling Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra.
Suddenly, though, we’ve developed a taste for luxury. Canada is quickly catching up to the United States in luxury sales as a percentage of the new vehicle market and we’re doing it in the showiest way possible — with high-end sport utility vehicles.
Sales of luxury vehicles rose 12 per cent through the end of May and now account for a record 10 per cent of the new vehicle market, according to Scotiabank’s global auto report released this week.
This is rapidly approaching the 12 per cent share that’s typical in the U.S., said Carlos Gomes, senior economist and auto industry specialist at Scotiabank.
“On a per capita basis, Canadian household net worth is rapidly narrowing the gap with the United States, enabling more Canadians to become upscale shoppers,” he wrote.
Although all luxury vehicles are selling well, high-end SUVs are by far the fastest growing segment of the market with sales up more than 80 per cent this year, according to Gomes, who attributed the increase to lower gas prices.
Industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers disputes this, however.