Auto Sales in Canada Hit Brakes in November

Canadian auto sales slowed substantially in November, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada.

The agency put the downward trend at 9.5% month-over-month (or 10.4% year-over-year), which translates into an annualized selling rate of just 1.65 million units, whereas auto sales had been averaging about 1.8 million units over the past four months.

More stringent lockdowns across major cities and regions in the country were likely the key driver behind the slowdown even though dealerships remained open. Consumer confidence has also been stalling over the past two months with rising COVID-19 cases. Inventory shortages and fewer purchase incentives may also be creating some headwinds to sales as the end of the year approaches. A normalization had already been underway across a broad range of economic activities including retail and auto sales earlier this Fall.