indicatorThe Owl

New vehicle sales stalled again in March

Year-over-year sales in Alberta were down by 19.0% (3,943 vehicles)

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 16 May 2022 1 min read

With supply chain problems still dogging the auto sector, it’s not a surprise that new vehicle sales continued their downward slide in March.

Year-over-year sales* in Alberta were down by 19.0% (3,943 vehicles) for a total of 16,763 new cars and trucks sold in March. This was the ninth month in a row that year-over-years sales contracted.

The dollar value of sales was also lower, falling 13.6% ($144 million) compared to the previous March to land at a total of $913 million. This was the third month in a row that the dollar value of sales was lower compared to 12 months earlier.

National sales faced a similar fate. The number of vehicles sold was down by 16.8% and the dollar value was 12.7% lower.

The number and value of vehicles sold was lower in every province in March 2022 compared to March 2021.

Exactly how much of this is the result of the inventory challenges facing the sector versus waning consumer confidence in the face of bad economic news and higher borrowing costs (the Bank of Canada increased its trend-setting interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% on March 2) is not clear. With that said, there is little doubt that the former is in play in a significant way and that it will take more time for the supply chain disruptions to fully dissipate.

*Month-over-month sales increased in Alberta and nationally, but this is part of a regular seasonal pattern in which sales are higher in March than in February. In the absence of seasonally-adjusted data, the year-over-year numbers provide a better sense of how sales activity changes over time.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The 1980 movie “Friday the 13th” takes place at Camp Crystal Lake.

Today’s trivia question: What percentage of the new vehicles sold in Canada in March were manufactured in North America?

16,763 new cars and trucks were sold in March 2022 in Alberta

16,763 new cars and trucks were sold in March 2022 in Alberta

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