Auto retail sales up in first half of 2023; aftermarket strong, new vehicle dealers not far behind

Canadian automotive retail sales continued to increase during the first half of 2023, with the aftermarket notably strong from a retail sales perspective and new vehicle dealers not far behind, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultant’s latest update.

The aftermarket was helped by automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores sales, which climbed 10.5% above the already high levels of the first half of 2022. And new light vehicle unit sales, having demonstrated year-over-year growth for 10 consecutive months, saw retail sales for new vehicle dealers jump 9.1% in the first half of 2023.

“While the broader economy geared down in the second quarter, retail sales among key segments of the automotive market have seen growth in the first half, fuelled by pent-up demand and resilient consumer spending in the automotive space,” said Andrew King, Managing Partner at DAC, in a statement “The aftermarket in particular continues to outperform, with strong sales despite higher prices.”

Used vehicle dealers saw a 3.3% increase in retail sales in the first half of 2023. At the same time, DAC said gasoline stations experienced a 12.0% pullback in this area, with lower gas prices compared to the steep prices of the first half of 2022. Still, retail sales in the first half were ahead of the other years — with the exception of 2022.

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