It’s awfully hard to draw any conclusions on the direction of the automotive sector these days if the only data you have to go on is sales of new vehicles.
Statistics Canada puts out a monthly tabulation of the volume of new units leaving dealer lots in each province. We often used that data to get a feel for consumer confidence.
Big ticket sales, like cars or houses, provide some insight into the mood of the average person. People willing to invest in big stuff are generally confident and vice versa.
But lately it has been difficult to extrapolate vehicle sales because, first, COVID-19 shutdowns really impacted our travel. Secondly, supply chain interruptions that flowed from COVID-19 challenged auto makers assembly lines.
So, we’ve been watching the numbers each month to see if that break-out or turn around point has been reached.
The most recent figures are from August and, in Saskatchewan, they show new vehicle sales rose almost 10 per cent over the same month a year ago but July was down, June was up and May was down. So, no trends have taken hold yet.