New Toyota RAV4 crossover SUVs for sale are seen at an auto mall in Ottawa, on Monday, April 26, 2021. Desrosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) says Canadian auto sales were down nearly 20 per cent in March compared to the same time last year as the auto industry hoped for a spring sales pop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

DesRosiers says Canadian auto sales dropped nearly 20 per cent in March

DesRosiers says Canadian auto sales dropped nearly 20 per cent in March

TORONTO — DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) says Canadian auto sales were down nearly 20 per cent in March compared with the same time last year, even as the auto industry had hopes for a spring sales pop.

The consultancy estimates that 140,460 new light vehicles were sold in the month, down from a year ago but up from nearly 100,000 in February.

More than 330,000 light vehicles were sold in the quarter, down 12.7 per cent from 378,700 in the first quarter of 2021. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales came in at 1.54 million for the month, a significant drop from 1.92 million in March 2021.

Andrew King, managing partner of DesRosiers, says March’s steep sales decline was not unexpected because March 2021 was a “red-hot month.”

It was the last strong sales month before the semiconductor shortages hit automakers and DesRosiers says the industry continues face supply issues.

DesRosiers notes that there were some bright spots in the luxury side of the market in the first quarter of 2022, with Porsche sales increasing 28.6 per cent while Lexus and Audi were up 5.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press