Canadian vehicle sales increased 36% in May from a year earlier but down from 2019

TORONTO — Canadian auto sales disappointed in May despite increasing nearly 36 per cent from a year earlier when sales plunged due to lockdowns to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to estimates compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadian light vehicle sales totalled 153,761 last month, up from 113,224 in May 2020.

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However, sales in May were down from 162,455 in April and 23.9 per cent below May 2019 levels.

DesRosiers noted that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for May, which is traditionally the strongest month for sales, slipped to 1.48 million vehicles.

It says that was lowest level since May of last year and "a definite disappointment after the strong performances that started the year."

The firm says the Canadian automotive market continues to struggle with lower demand and disruptions in the supply of microchips used in vehicles.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2021.

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