Canadian auto sales crept up 0.6 per cent in January when compared with the same month a year ago as vehicle shortages caused by semiconductor supply issues continue to weigh on the industry, says DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
The consultancy estimates new light vehicles sales came in at 91,411 units for the month, up from 90,890 in 2021. To put that further into context, automakers in January 2020 sold an estimated 109,616 new light vehicles.
There looks to be little reprieve to the shortage on the horizon.
AutoForecast Solutions’ (AFS) latest weekly estimate of the number of vehicles removed from production because of the semiconductor shortage this year jumped significantly for the second consecutive week.
AFS, which closely monitors the impact of the chip shortage on production, said Jan. 31 that about 230,700 vehicles have been cut at plants worldwide this year, up about 23 per cent from a week earlier. It reported a 25-per-cent week-over-week jump in its previous estimate.
DesRosiers said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales came in at 1.66 million for the month.
Desrosiers managing partner Andrew King said in the report that while January is usually the lowest sales month of the year, there is clearly still a discrepancy between market demand and supply.
Scotiabank Economics on Jan. 27 said in its most recent global auto report that “demand conditions remained strong, particularly in countries where massive policy supports were still in place.”
“This has put household balance sheets on a firmer footing, underpinned by solid job recoveries in markets like the U.S. and Canada,” the report said.
Scotibank says the persistent supply-demand imbalance drove vehicle price appreciation in both new and used markets in 2021 and the financial institution expects that trend to continue.
“We assume global auto production continues to play catch-up for much of 2022 which would mean the pricing environment is likely to remain elevated over this horizon.”
Among the handful of automakers still reporting monthly sales, Hyundai posted the biggest gain, up 26.6 per cent over last January. The automaker sold 7,076 new vehicles. Subaru wasn’t far behind, up 24.8 per cent with 3,310 sold. Toyota sustained the biggest decline in sales, down 2.8 per cent to 11,498 units.
With files from the Canadian Press.