Canadian auto assembly shipments hit five year high

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Shipments in Canada’s motor vehicle assembly and parts and accessories industries have continued on a blazing trajectory this year, with especially bullish totals in the second and third quarters.

Through the end of September, assembly sector shipments jumped an average of 21.0 per cent relative to 2011, while parts sector shipments increased 22.3 per cent.

Strong demand for Canadian-built vehicles pushed the total value of assembly sector shipments to over $5.05 billion in August 2012. While this total represents the first time the industry has hit the $5 billion mark since November 2007, industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers said it’s worthwhile remembering that such performances were considered routine just five years past.

“Indeed, nine of 2007’s twelve months saw assembly sector shipment totals meeting or exceeding $5 billion; monthly totals reaching into the $7 billion range were hit as recently as 2004.”

Similarly robust shipments growth has occurred in the automotive parts sector, with all but one month thus far in 2012 notching a double-digit percentage gain over the previous year.

DesRosiers said a measure of U.S. market growth, coupled with assembly labour calm in Canada has allowed parts producers to boost output this year, with a peak 2012 shipment to date, of $2.45 billion, reached in May. As in the assembly sector, second and third quarter shipment totals in the parts industry reached their highest levels since late 2007.

“While structural changes within the industry mean that the heady volumes seen during the first half of the 2000s may not be seen again, thirteen consecutive months of shipments growth (as of September 2012) bodes well for a recovering industry in need of certainty and stability.”