Saskatchewan sees 20% drop in automotive sales compared to pre-pandemic days

A severe lack of inventory and global supply chain issues have left car buyers and sellers in a tough spot.

In 2013 in Saskatchewan, almost 60,000 new vehicles were purchased.

Over the last two years, that number has bottomed out at around 40,000 per year.

It’s not just in Saskatchewan. In Canada from 2020 to 2021, new motor vehicle sales dropped 17 per cent.

October 2021 saw roughly 130,000 vehicles sold, which is the country’s lowest monthly total since 2011.

“We’ve still got semiconductor shortages and supply chain problems. Consumers really have fewer choices when shopping for cars and it’s going to be quite a while before things are turned around,” says automotive journalist Dale Johnson.

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Click to play video: 'Navigate the microchip shortage to find your dream car'
Navigate the microchip shortage to find your dream car

Semiconductors, often referred to as microchips, are often produced in Asia where pandemic-related impacts are affecting the global supply chain.

Microchips provide vehicles with features like driving aids, adaptive cruise control and backup cameras, to name a few.

Fewer microchips being produced means fewer cars making their way to North America and ending up on dealership lots.

Johnson added, “the shortage of microchips directly impacts Saskatchewan because the chips are prominent in pickup trucks, which is one of the most popular vehicles in the province.”

Susan Buckle is the executive director of the Saskatchewan Automobile Dealers Association (SADA) and she explains what the last two years have done to the industry.

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“We’re down about 20 per cent in our new vehicle sales compared to pre-COVID days, so that’s quite significant,” Buckle said.

“I’m sure everybody sees it as they go around the province; there is very little inventory on dealership lots.”

Buckle did say that inventory is increasing with new vehicles trickling in, but she doesn’t expect much to change until late spring of 2022.

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