Record Annual Retail Sales at Canadian Car Dealerships - Total Sales Surpass $90 Billion for First Time in History

OTTAWA, April 22, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian retail automotive market posted a new record in 2013, surpassing $90 billion in total sales for the first time ever in 2013. Total retail sales at car dealerships grew by a very healthy 5.7 per cent over 2012 revenues to eclipse the $90 billion threshold for the first time ever. Revenues grew even faster than new vehicle sales, which themselves set a new record in 2013 as well, eclipsing 1.74 million new units sold.

"Consumers are responding to record levels of affordability in the marketplace and strong product choice," said Michael Hatch, Chief Economist of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA). "They are also releasing the last of the pent-up demand from the recession, during which many consumers delayed big purchases.

"This is great news for the industry but also for the economy at large," continued Hatch. "Surpassing $90 billion in total sales is a huge milestone for our members, and comes on top of an already-impressive 2013 during which we sold more new cars than ever before."

The $90 billion in sales represents almost five per cent of Canada's GDP and about $2,500 for every woman, man, and child in Canada last year. Though most new vehicle purchases require some sort of financing, default ratios on automotive debt are at historically low levels.

"Though debt levels have been increasing for Canadian consumers, the cost to service those debts has been falling," continued Hatch. "The availability of consumer financing is an important part of our members' business, and consumers are paying back auto and other consumer loans at extremely high rates."

In the fourth quarter of last year, delinquency rates for automotive debt stood at 0.11 per cent. This is the lowest default rate of all forms of consumer debt.

"Consumers are spending money at dealerships at record levels," continued Hatch. "This is great news for the economy. We're on pace for another record year in 2014."

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) is the national association for franchised automobile dealerships that sell new cars and trucks. Our 3,300 dealers represent a key sector of Canada's economy. Through our dealers, we are represented in nearly every community and those dealers collectively employ over 130,000 people across the country.

SOURCE CANADIAN AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION (CADA)

For further information: CADA Public Affairs, Telephone : 613-230-2079/1-800-465-3054