the recovery of U.S. sales from the depths of the recession is creating strong demand for the cars, crossovers and minivans cranked out by auto makers’ assembly plants in Ontario, many of which are running on overtime. The U.S. market is the destination for about 80 per cent of the vehicles that come off the assembly lines operated by the five manufacturers that build vehicles in Ontario.
“The biggest driver of this year’s story is going to be replacement [demand],” Ken Czubay, vice-president of U.S. marketing, sales and service forsaid Friday. “When the fleet is 11 years old, you can imagine the fuel economy that they used to get on an 11-year-old vehicle. They are now getting significantly better fuel economy,” Mr. Czubay told analysts and reporters on a conference call.
Kurt McNeil, vice-president of U.S. sales operations for., pegged the January sales rate at 15.3 million, up about 14 per cent from January, 2012, and 50 per cent from January, 2010.
“This says to us that we continue to recover strongly from the recession despite the headwinds of higher taxes and lower government spending,” Mr. McNeil said on GM’s conference call.