BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

November 12, 2010 10:23 ET

Canadians Driving Auto Sales Back to Pre-Recession Levels

BMO Study Shows Canadians Take a Shine to New Cars and Trucks in 2010

- New Car Sales in Canada on Pace to Reverse 2009 Decline; Grow by Nearly 7 Per Cent in 2010

- Dealership Sales, Including Service and Parts Set to Rebound 8.5 Per Cent

- Strong Loonie Will Support Sales and Benefit Dealers and Consumers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2010) - Canadians returned to dealer showrooms this year, largely reversing the auto sales decline in 2009. According to a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal, sales are estimated to rise from 1.48 million vehicles in 2009 to 1.58 million this year.

The report also includes a forecast for 2011, which projects sales of motor vehicles will increase a further 3.8 per cent to 1.64 million units, a level more in line with the pre-recession annual range of 1.6 to 1.7 million sales (2000-2008).

"Canadian consumers, less stressed by debt than their American counterparts and facing a stronger labour market, this year have returned more confidently to showrooms, almost returning sales to pre-recession levels," says Earl Sweet, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Healthier financial markets, a strengthening Canadian dollar, and low interest rates are also supporting the demand for motor vehicles," added Sweet.

"Dealerships in Canada have emerged from the recession, in most cases much stronger, with leaner inventories, improved cost efficiencies and focus on their customers," says Robert Sadokierski, Vice President, Dealership Finance, BMO Bank of Montreal. "In addition, the loonie's strength should support sales and benefit both dealers and consumers by lowering the costs of vehicles and parts and enhancing purchasing power. Overall, it is a good time to consider making a purchase, especially with the added confidence of knowing that your local dealer is stronger and best positioned to be there for the long haul," added Sadokierski.

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