Consumers are feeling pretty good about big-ticket purchases these days. That starts with new vehicles.
The arrival of the pandemic lockdown in March was devastating for those selling new vehicles. Sales went from average to slightly below to almost nothing overnight. But ever since they have been clawing their way back. They have not yet returned to last year’s level, but they are starting to get close.
When the pandemic hit in March, dealers in the province were on track to deliver 3,500 new units. These are new vehicles, not pre-owned. Things were locked down at mid-month bringing the traffic to a halt and cutting total volume to 2,400 instead of the 3,500 target.
The following month, the first full month of the lockdown, saw the volume drop again to 1,800. Compare that to April of last year at 4,400, roughly a 60-per-cent decline.
That was the low point. May saw sales increase to 2,500 and June, the latest available data, hit 3,600 – a sharp improvement, but still about 1,000 units behind where the dealers were in the same month last year.