By Perry Lefko

Canadians certainly love buying new cars.

A combination of low interest rates and a turnaround in the economy have resulted in Canadians buying more cars on an annual basis since 2009.

But there’s every reason to believe that the prospect of two million sales, which at one time would have been seen as nothing more than a pipe dream, could happen.

In fact, according to Canadian Black Book, the Markham-based company which does values on new and used cars, dealers could be popping champagne bottles in 2017.

“Our industry needs only 243,126 cars to hit two million,” said Brian Murphy, Black Book editorial vice-president, at the 2017 TalkAUTO Canada, November 8, at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke.

“If you look at the average over the last decade for November and December it’s 242,869,” Murphy added. “So if we do completely average for November and December this year we miss two million by 257 cars.”

But he doesn’t think that will happen.

“We’re going to hit it out of the park,” he predicted. “It’s only in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 that we were below that 243,126 mark, but if you look at the last five years we were 262,812, which means we would exceed the two million by 19,686.”

Murphy said new-car sales are up 5.6 per cent this year and added that is really incredible when you look back to 2010.

“We’ve actually had 41 per cent growth since 2010, which is just astronomical,” he said.

He noted Jaguar is up 68 per cent from a year ago. He added Audi is up 18.6, General Motors 17½, Porsche 14½ and Lexus, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz all around 12 per cent.

“It’s just amazing,” he said.

Traditional sedan-style cars are declining significantly while sales of sports utility vehicles and trucks soaring.

“In the last two years, the amount of cars sold as opposed to trucks and SUVs has just dropped by five percent,” Murphy said. “So I’m going to go out on a limb and say 15 per cent cars and 85 percent trucks are not that far away. It’s really interesting because it does have an effect on the business. Generally-speaking cars have weaker residual values in terms of their original price.”

He also said used-car sales are up 9½ per cent this year, adding that is truly amazing given that Canada’s population isn’t growing by the same amount.