Canadian truck sales, which includes minivans, SUVs, light and heavy trucks, outpaced car sales last year as drivers across Canada are showing a preference for larger vehicles.  

Canadian truck sales accounted for 73 per cent of new vehicle sales in December 2017

Canadian truck sales our outpacing car purchases as drivers across the country show a preference for larger vehicles.  The truck category includes minivans, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), light and heavy trucks, vans and buses.

The cars category includes convertibles, hatchbacks, sports-coupes and sedans.

Before 2010 in Canada, cars and trucks were sold at about equal market share.  Since then, an increase in truck sales has been noted.

In December 2017, trucks accounted for a record 73 per cent of new vehicle sales and sales of trucks increased from 2016 to 2017 by 8 per cent, while car sales dropped by over 2 per cent.

About 60 per cent, or 860,000 new vehicles were bought in Quebec and Ontario in 2017 and truck sales accounted for 60 per cent of the purchases.  Car sales mostly fell in 2017, however, Nova Scotia and Ontario reported increases in car sales.

Despite consumers opting for larger vehicles and the increasing number of cars on the road, Canadian gasoline demand in the last few years has been relatively flat.

The main reasons are increasing fuel efficiency of new vehicles as well as increasing popularity of public transit. The National Energy Board’s long-term energy projection shows gasoline demand declining over the next 20 years. This projected trend is due to improved fuel efficiency of gasoline-powered engines and the increasing penetration of electric vehicles.

Under the federal light-duty vehicle regulations spanning model years 2011 to 2025, the fuel efficiency of new cars is expected to increase by 41 per cent compared with model year 2010.

While the NEB says this is an emissions-based target, the correlation between emissions and fuel economy means that the fuel efficiency of new cars is projected to improve from 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km) in 2010 to 5.1 L/100 km by 2025.

Fuel efficiency for new light trucks is projected to improve from 12.0 L/100 Km in 2010 to 7.6 L/100 Km by 2025.