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As a key economic indicator, mid-year national new car sales numbers are clearly pointing to the fact that in many parts of Canada including British Columbia, the economy remains strong.

Across Canada, sales are up nearly five per cent this year according to DesRosiers Automotive Reports and, for the first time ever, Canada is on pace to hit two million in annual new vehicles sales.

In fact, 2017’s year to date sales hit the one million mark in June, with a total of 203,486 new units sold across the nation in June alone.

British Columbia, in particular, is a huge contributor to the astounding number of sales.

We are the fourth largest new car market in the country, behind Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, with 23,191 new vehicles sold in just the month of May.

To compare, May of last year saw sales of 20,862 new vehicles – this year’s number is an 11.2 per cent increase from 2016.

According to DesRosiers, every month this year with the exception of April has been a record-setting month for new car sales in Canada. Out of the 26 reporting auto manufacturers, 23 recorded sales increases for the month of June.

It’s no surprise, with all the new ideas and technology coming out of the auto industry lately, to see consumers choosing to purchase new vehicles now. Consumers are paying attention as automakers rollout with new technology year after year, and prices for new vehicles remain at near historic lows. Pricing for a new car hasnn’t changed that much dating back to 2000. Back then, the average price of a new vehicle was in the $24,000 to $26,000 range. Now in 2017, the average price has moved to the $26,000 to $27,000 range. That is a nominal price increase over the last 16 years.

The auto industry has never been more exciting with new innovations like the development of autonomous cars and the rise of electric vehicles (EV’s). British Columbia especially, is a leader in EV adoption, dominating EV sales nationwide, alongside Quebec and Ontario.

EV sales have also seen an upward trend through the first quarter of 2017, with over 32,000 EVs in the total Canadian market as of March this year, according to numbers from FleetCarma. Although third for provincial EV sales, we are in first place for EV adoption, hitting 4 per cent of all passenger car sales in March. As charging infrastructure starts to catch up with EV sales, we can expect even more of these greener cars on our highways.

Here in Western Canada, economic growth for the new car industry is definitely on the upswing given what we’ve seen so far. Throughout the country, growth projections are strong for the remainder of this year and into the next.

Visit your local new car dealer today to test drive all the newest makes and models in the market. Our dealers would be happy to help you find the perfect vehicle for you and your lifestyle.

Auto note: Summer break is in full swing for school children and teens across British Columbia. According to stats from ICBC, five pedestrians aged five to 18 die and another 250 are injured in collisions involving a vehicle in the province. Every year, 73 youth cyclists are injured in collisions in the Lower Mainland. Be alert, particularly near playgrounds and near youth riding their bikes.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].