April auto sales plummet into ‘uncharted territory’ with 75% drop

April auto sales plummet into ‘uncharted territory’ with 75% drop
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TORONTO — DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says auto sales dropped into “uncharted territory” in April with a 74.6-per-cent plunge from a year earlier.

April sales totalled an estimated 45,833 units compared with 180,616 last year as restrictions and economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 outbreak affected the full month of sales.

DesRosiers says that while its records aren’t complete, it believes the level is the lowest April sales total since 1951.

The April fall in sales came after a 48.3 per cent sales drop in March, when widespread restrictions first went into place. Both periods easily eclipsed the previous record for a monthly drop of 27.7 per cent, set in February 2009 amid the worst of the Great Recession.

Year-to-date, the market is now trending down 36.7 per cent from 2019 levels.

DesRosiers notes that April could be the low point in sales as provinces talk of starting to reopen the economy in the weeks ahead. The Ontario government, for example, announced Friday that auto dealerships could start to reopen on an appointment-only basis starting Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2020.


The Canadian Press

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