Vehicles for sale are seen under a protective tent at a Mazda dealership in Calgary, Thursday, July 14, 2016. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. says that 156,095 cars and trucks were sold in Canada in October, down 2.1 per cent from October 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian auto sales fall 12.4 per cent in February

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Canadian auto sales fell 12.4 per cent in February from a year earlier.

The consultancy estimates new light-vehicle sales came in at 98,722 units, down from 112,654 in February last year.

DAC says however that last year’s sales in the month were strong, part of an upward surge to the March peak last year of 175,186 units before the semiconductor shortage started to affect the market.

The auto sector globally has been hit by a shortage of semiconductor chips caused by pandemic-related production issues and a surge in demand for electronics, leading to lower auto production and supplies of vehicles.

DesRosiers says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for February came in at 1.62 million for the month, down from the 1.85 million for February last year, but broadly in line with levels seen over the last 10 months.

Sales in February 2020, just before the widespread pandemic shutdowns, came in at about 123,375 vehicles.