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Record Demand for New Cars Driven by Affordability Equation

(Ottawa, ON) – September 1, 2016 – New data from Statistics Canada indicate that Canada’s new vehicle market continues to set sales records as a result of continued record levels of new car affordability in the Canadian marketplace. For well over a decade, new car prices have defied regular inflationary pressure in the economy and consumers continue to respond with record levels of demand. New data from Statistics Canada indicates that average new car prices are the same today as they were in 2002, a time during which economy-wide prices increased by almost 30 per cent.

“This is great news for our dealer network, obviously, but also for the economy as a whole and for Canadian consumers,” said Michael Hatch, Chief Economist of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA). “Consumers are responding to high levels of product affordability and the best product choice we’ve ever seen. Given that today’s new cars are safer, more efficient, and offer way more options to the consumer, the value proposition in our industry is unmatched.”

Today’s new vehicle consumer is paying the same nominal price that was paid in 2002 for what is a far superior product and once inflation is factored into the equation, real savings amount to 30 per cent in the past 14 years.

The industry has gone through many changes and challenges since the recession of 2009 and the restructuring of much of the North American auto industry that came in its wake.  The Canadian dealership network experienced some serious setbacks over the past number of years, yet have set several sales records in recent years and are well on pace to do so again this year, with sales up 4.6 per cent through the first seven months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

Record levels of new car demand in the marketplace mean that consumers are confident in the economy’s performance and that’s great news for car dealers, their customers, and all Canadians. Record affordability for today’s new cars means that consumers are getting more product for less cost than ever before in the industry’s history.

“Debt dynamics are obviously evolving in the auto industry too,” continued Hatch. “We’re very much aware of these trends, but vehicle prices that defy inflationary pressures means that the vast majority of consumer auto debt is sustainable and fully repayable at today’s levels. It’s a golden age for the Canadian new vehicle consumer and our sales results reflect that.”

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