New Car Sales Hit Record High in 2013
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Whether Canadians had to replace their vehicle or finally wanted to feel what it's like to drive a car fresh off the showroom floor, a record number of car insurance policies were taken out on new automobiles in 2013, according to newly released sales data.
The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association reported that more than 1.7 million new cars were sold throughout the country in 2013, marking an all-time record high. That smashes the previous record set in 2002 and is the second time in recorded history automotive retail sales have surpassed the 1.7 million milestone.
Michael Hatch, chief economist for the CADA, indicated that the announcement is a welcome discovery but not altogether surprising, given that consumer confidence has risen and affordability conditions are strong.
"This is great news for our dealer network, obviously, but also for the economy as a whole and for Canadian consumers," said Hatch. "Consumers are responding to an optimistic and rebounding industry, with high levels of product affordability and the best product choice we've ever seen. New car prices have mostly defied regular inflationary pressures in the past decade and we're seeing that manifested in record levels of demand."
Bounce back encouraging for dealerships, automakers
He added that the record level of annual sales is quite meaningful, seeing as how the automotive industry went through serious financial setbacks during the global recession. Being able to bounce back in such a robust way speaks to the optimistic climate car dealers, customers and Canadians in general have witnessed.
Overall, though, heightened demand stemmed from consumers being able to pay for new cars, resulting from low auto loan interest rates, reasonably priced vehicles and quality craftsmanship among popular models.
Next to buying a home, purchasing a new car is one of the most significant decisions people make in their lives, especially if they plan on owning one for the life of a vehicle. According to automotive data and marketing solutions firm Polk, the average lifespan of today's vehicles averages just over 11 years.
Car Cost Canada, an automotive data and subscription services firm, put together some recommendations for what new car buyers should be cognizant of before putting money down on a vehicle.
- Do your homework. Before stepping foot at a dealership, you should be sure to perform some initial grunt work, or researching the vehicles you may be interested in. The Internet has made this simple, as there are a number of websites where key questions can be answered, like how vehicles fared in safety tests, what kind of mileage they get and what current or recent owners have to say about their car.
- Ask lots of questions. There are many options to choose from, which can make selecting a new car difficult. The best way to determine which model is best depends on the person. Questions to ask include whether the purchase is for functionality or simply to get from point A to point B. Additionally, what size of car to buy may be best answered by how important you consider fuel efficiency to be.
- Take advantage of the test drive. Any dealer will be sure to offer taking a car or cars for a test drive. Car Cost Canada says you should be sure to take them up on their offer in order to get a feel for how it drives and what strengths or setbacks are immediately apparent.
- Inquire about discounts. As an incentive, dealerships are quick to offer discounts on the purchase price of a vehicle. How deep they are may be the determining factor if you're at a stalemate about deciding between two comparably priced vehicles that have similar features.
Other new-car shopping and buying recommendations can be found at the auto data and pricing service company's website.