Canadian auto sales surge nearly 52 per cent

TORONTO — Canadian auto sales surged nearly 52 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago to mark the second-best three-month period since the start of the pandemic.

According to estimates compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadian light vehicle sales totalled 478,717 units in the second three months of the year, compared with 315,384 a year earlier. That’s just short of about 500,000 units sold in the third quarter of last year.

Light truck sales rose 53.5 per cent to 380,682 while passenger cars were up 45.5 per cent to 98,035.

Total light-vehicle sales rose 3.9 per cent in June to 162,501 units, but was still down 12.4 per cent from the pre-pandemic June 2019 total of 185,496 units.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales climbed modestly to 1.65 million after two months of decline, said managing partner Andrew King.

He said a change in the market direction could help start a recovery that will build momentum through the summer.

“After the false dawn of fall 2020 we’ve learned not to get too excited and ahead of ourselves. However, June definitely was a step forward from a dismal May and a stronger month for the market,” stated King.

He says semiconductor shortages can be seen in the numbers from GM, Ford, and Stellantis whose sales all underperformed the market. The three companies reported sales gains of 33.6 per cent, 30.3 per cent, and 20.1 per cent. respectively for the quarter, compared with the overall market growth of 51.8 per cent.

Genesis led the quarter, increasing nearly 400 per cent, followed by Mitsubishi up 158 per cent, Porsche 113 per cent and Infiniti 106 per cent.

Toyota sales increased 92 per cent in the quarter.