It seems Canadians are looking for bigger and better cars, and they're in a buying mood, according to the latest Global Auto Report from Scotia Economics.


Canadians purchased a record number of vehicles in July, according to the latest Global Auto Report from Scotia Economics. ((IStock))

In fact, 2010 marked the best July on record for many automakers.

It was the second monthly rebound in a row after a weak performance in May.

Scotia Economics says the recent improvement in sales has led it to raise its full-year 2010 Canadian sales forecast to 1.565 million vehicles from 1.525 million.

The bank also says Canadians are shifting away from small cars, with segment volumes declining two per cent year-over-year through July.

Small cars traditionally dominate the Canadian market, but their share of the market has slumped to less than 29 per cent this year, the lowest level in more than a decade and down from a peak of 35 per cent in 2008.

Globally, says Scotia Economics, car sales fell in July compared to a year ago in a significant slowdown from a 16 per cent surge in the first half of 2010.

Senior economist Carlos Gomes says a "double-digit slump in Western Europe, due to the expiry of scrappage incentives, accounted for the fall-off."

"However, outside of Europe, purchases have also started to moderate, with volumes advancing year-over-year by only nine per cent last month — the smallest gain since last summer.