August new-vehicle sales were at their lowest in more than two decades, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC).
Automakers sold an estimated 126,534 new light vehicles last month, down 13.9 per cent when compared with the same month a year ago and the lowest August total since 1999, the consultancy said.
The monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (SAAR) came in under 1.4 million units. DAC said that was “broadly in the range seen over the past six months and lacking any substantive glimmer of hope for a return to a more normal sales pace.”
The firm said many in the industry were hoping August would “represent the tipping point in which the market would reverse direction and start to show sales gains.”
“Sadly, this was definitely not the case here in Canada.”
Meawhile, automakers are on pace to sell about 1.57 million new vehicles in Canada in 2022, according to AutoForecast Solutions (AFS), a U.S.-based forecasting company.
The firm says that’s down five per cent when compared with the 1.66 million sold in 2021. But, it’s nearly as low as the 1.55 million sold during 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered factories and limited shopping at dealerships across Canada.
“Canada’s struggle to keep up with last year’s lacklustre sales performance continues as the country hasn’t seen a year-over-year improvement since January and the gap since has been consistently wide,” the company said in its latest AutoForecast Monthly newsletter, issued Aug. 31.
The report didn’t include August sales, which were significantly down among those automakers still reporting on a monthly basis Thursday.
AFS warned inventory will be low for "a long time."
"With inventories as low as they are, it will take years of over-building to restore dealer stock to an adequate level to support the existing demand," the firm said.
Toyota, the biggest seller by volume that still reports monthly in Canada, saw its sales plunge 27 per cent to 15,555 when compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Automotive News Research and Data Center in Detroit.
Honda sales fell 32.7 per cent to 9,939.
Subaru sales were nearly down half, falling 41.6 per cent to 3,417 in August.
Kia sales were off 38.6 per cent to 5,125 and Hyundai sales were down 16.4 per cent to 9,901.
Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, managed a small increase, up 0.8 per cent to 530.