Let’s start with the good: New vehicle sales in May far out-paced the last few years and signal a positive move forward for the rest of the year.
Now the bad: Sales are still far, far behind pre-pandemic numbers.
May has generally been the strongest month for new sales. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reported an estimated sales total of nearly 160,000 units for the month. That’s up 13.5 per cent from May 2022 and 11 per cent higher than April 2023.
That brings the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 1.54 million units, “thankfully breaking a run of three months of consecutive declines and definitely a positive sign of improved vehicle availability across a broader array of manufacturers,” observed Andrew King, managing partner of DesRosiers.
The consultancy further pointed out that despite the positive sign May gave, there’s still a tough hill to climb. May 2023’s numbers are 21 per cent behind 2019’s sales of more than 202,000 units.
“However, with most economic variables continuing to be surprisingly robust and the predicted recession not yet in sight, there is some optimism that the market can build upon this base for a stronger summer of sales,” DesRosiers’ analysis said.