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Car and truck sales down 2.1 per cent in October amid shortages, pandemic measures

TORONTO — Canadian dealerships sold 156,095 cars and trucks in October, down 2.1 per cent from the previous year, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.

The decline in auto sales last month came amid shortages of some in-demand vehicles, as well as stricter COVID-19 measures in some regions, said DesRosiers managing partner Andrew King.

Still, King said the auto market is showing signs of stability after COVID-19 shuttered dealerships earlier this year, sending sales down nearly 75 per cent from their year-ago levels in April.

By September, people had returned to dealerships and were buying slightly more cars and trucks than in September 2019.

Despite the slight decline, King said the October auto sales number was healthy, all things considered.

“(The) market managed another strong performance in October,” King said.

Since November and December tend to be slower sales months, the consultants say they expect 2020 to end with 360,000 fewer auto sales than in 2019, a decline of 21.6 per cent.

On a brighter note, Mazda Canada said on Tuesday that last month was its best October on record. The 163 Mazda dealers in Canada sold 6,414 vehicles during the month, a 6.3 per cent jump from last year, led by CX crossovers.

Last month, DesRosiers also noted that light trucks were gaining ground in the Canadian market.

“The growth in smaller and fuel-efficient light trucks such as subcompact SUVs and small pickup trucks is one of the top stories in the unprecedented 2020 calendar year,” DesRosiers’ report last month said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press

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