Auto Service World
News   April 11, 2024   by Adam Malik

March sales strong, just not as strong as desired

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In what could be a sign that new vehicle sales might see their hot streak come to an end, March sales were underwhelming, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

While a 9.2 per cent year-over-year growth mark can be taken as a positive sign, it’s dwarfed by the 24.4 per cent growth seen the month before. This could be a sign that things are slowing down in the area.

“The March gain seems just a touch anticlimactic,” the consultancy wrote in its analysis.

The 159,000 units sold in March are still well below the typical 180,000-plus seen pre-pandemic in that month, which is usually when sales kick into high gear for the year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.74 million units was “also disappointing,” the group said, noting it was the lowest seen over the past six months.

“For the time being, pent-up demand continued to carry the new light vehicle market as vehicle availability approached normalization — although there are increasing warning signs starting to appear in the market that are raising our level of concern,” said managing partner Andrew King.

In January, DesRosiers did note of signs pointing to weakness. It highlighted cracks are becoming more evident as there is “a split developing between the luxury market — which is showing distinct signs of weakness — and the mainstream market which is still surfing a wave of pent-up demand.”

First quarter numbers came in at 401,000 vehicles sold this year, up about 15 per cent from last year.

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