November light vehicle sales ‘crackled like a blazing fire on the hearth’

November light vehicle sales soared 20.7% to an estimated 138,747 units during a month when the weather turned wintry cold, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. The data is based on reporting OEMs.

Perhaps it was the chilly weather that helped push more Canadians to visit their car dealers to keep warm, DAC jokes, adding that November sales “crackled like a blazing fire on the hearth.”

“November not only represented the thirteenth straight month of year-over-year gains, but (it was) also the largest percentage gain we have seen so far in 2023,”  said Andrew King, Managing Partner of DAC, in a statement. “Improving vehicle availability and strong pent-up demand from a million units of ‘lost sales’ continued to overcome high interest rates and worrying recent economic downdrafts.”

However, King added that the monthly total was still below the November 2019 pre-pandemic levels, when the market reached 143,315 units. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for the month is 1.82 million, representing the highest rate DAC has seen since March 2021.

“On a year-to-date basis, the good news is that the market has already surpassed 2022’s dismal total of 1.49 million units with December still to come,” said DAC in its update. “While 2023 is by no means going to be a record-setting year for the Canadian automotive market, it does represent an important step in recovery.”

DAC said it will be closely watching how things progress in 2024.

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