Canadian new-vehicle sales fell an estimated 13.9 per cent in November when compared to the same month a year ago, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC).
The auto analytics company says automakers sold 110,448 units last month.
“While the percentage drop was somewhat better than in September (-19.6) and October (-17.7) the more important [seasonally adjusted annual rate] was weak – falling to 1.45 million – the lowest level we have seen since the initial lockdowns of Spring 2020,” DAC Managing Partner Andrew King said in a statement.
DAC says that “performance was again all over the map” as the microchip shortage hit certain products while sparing others.
DAC says some manufacturers posted double-digit gains, although the company didn't say which ones, while others endured double-digit losses – “a pattern that is likely to persist until stability returns to the semiconductor supply chain,” the consultancy said.
Monthly sales figures are estimates because 35 of 45 brands have stopped reporting sales figures 12 times a year.
Of the 10 auto brands that still publicly report monthly sales, Hyundai and its luxury Genesis line were the only two to post gains in November when compared to the same month a year ago.
Hyundai sales were up two per cent to 9,840 units while Genesis surged 199 per cent to 427.
Hyundai Canada CEO Don Romano said November’s sales increase can can be attributed to a few factors.
“First, the Hyundai and Genesis lineups are outstanding, as proven by the awards we’ve been honoured with for a number of new models,” Romano said in a statement to Automotive News Canada. “Second, our retail partners are committed to providing exceptional customer service, with both brands being in the top five according to JD Power.
“Third, our new business model of providing a hassle-free, digital customer journey is proving to be successful.”
Romano says the automaker “saw these elements come together in November.”
“Despite this challenging time for the industry, at Hyundai we’re proud that we were able to come through for our customers in November,” he said. “Looking ahead to 2022, we’re expecting continued strong results as a number of our facilities will be all-new, or renovated.”
Volvo has not yet reported.
All other brands saw their sales plummet — and all, but Honda, did so by double digits by percentage.
Honda sales were off 8.4 per cent to 9,291. Its Acura luxury line fell 12.3 per cent to 1,159.
Mazda took the biggest hit, with its sales down 46.6 per cent to 2,975. And Kia, which had managed the semiconductor shortage and inventory crunch fairly well early in 2021, took the second-biggest hit with a 34-per-cent drop in sales to 4,095 units.
The slumping sales come just days after AutoForecast Solutions said automakers held back on further production schedule cuts last week in their ongoing adjustment to global microchip shortages.
The firm said that as of midweek last week, the U.S. Thanksgiving break left schedules unchanged from a week earlier.
Automakers and dealers have said it takes weeks — if not months — for production cuts and increased output to affect inventory on the ground.