Automotive Sales numbers Q1 2020 (post covid breakout)
"March sales plunged 48 percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automakers and analysts spent much of March warning that plunging sales were on the horizon in the wake of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and the economic pain it has wrought in North America over the past 20 days or so.
The moment of truth slowly arrived over the course of two days this week as automakers reported sinking sales figures for the first quarter.
Sales plunged 20 percent to 331,718 in the quarter, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.
Several provinces and municipalities across Canada have stay-at-home orders in effect. In most of those areas, dealer service operations are considered essential and have remained open to address vehicle needs for customers and government agencies. Some showrooms are also open, but it hasn’t been enough to sustain sales.
“As the full impact of the COVID-19 virus became apparent in mid-March, and dealers either were forced to shut down due to emergency measures enacted, or voluntarily shut down due to minimal consumer traffic, the impact on sales has been dramatic,” David Adams, head of the Global Automakers of Canada said in a news release. “The industry is trying to sustain itself and working cooperatively together and with governments to keep the service departments at dealerships open where possible.
“This will ensure that recall programs can be undertaken and that the vehicles of doctors, nurses, and other health-care workers and other essential service providers can be kept operational in a safe working manner.”
The consultancy told The Canadian Press that March sales appeared to be “declining moderately” during the first half of the month, before provinces and municipalities started implementing stay-at-home recommendations and orders.
Scotiabank issued a dire warning for the industry Wednesday.
“Though auto dealerships in some provinces have been deemed essential, consumers are not out shopping,” the financial institution said in its Global Auto Report. “Only urgent replacement purchases and end-of-lease transactions are expected for the most part in the near-term. April sales declines could conceivably bottom out at around 80 percent year-over-year as the virus continues to escalate over the month.”