With inflation and interest rates both up sharply, and gas prices at record levels, DAC reached out to consumers to get their input about how the economic situation may impact their intention to purchase a vehicle this year. Unsurprisingly, nearly half of respondents suggested that they are less likely to take the plunge into the vehicle market given the current economic concerns. Looking across the country, consumers from the Atlantic region and Alberta were the most hesitant, citing ‘less likely’ at 57.0% and 56.9% respectively.
While consumers seem to be echoing Elon Musk and his “super bad feeling” about the economy it should be noted that current consumer actions are showing a completely different perspective. Across the wide range of economic variables tracked by DAC, consumer spending is at record levels – often well above the previous highs of 2019. OpenTable reports restaurant reservations in Canada 15% above pre-pandemic levels, RBC cardholder spending data is tracking 30% higher than 2019, Statistics Canada retail sales data jumped yet again in the most recent month. One variable after another, shows consumers are (currently at least) spending at a torrid pace.
“When it comes to the outlook for vehicle purchases, future consumer behaviour is far from clear” commented Andrew King, Managing Partner at DAC. He continued, “while such concerns are in some way moot until vehicle supply issues are resolved, they are critical for the future outlook of the industry.” As such, DAC continues to track a broad range of economic variables closely and each quarter publishes a vehicle sales forecast by segment, province, and powertrain type for the coming 5 years.