TORONTO - Canadian auto sales in April were up 254 per cent compared with the same month last year, when sales plunged due to lockdowns in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to estimates compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadian auto sales totalled 162,455 units last month, up from just 45,833 units in April 2020.

DesRosiers says April 2020 marked the low point of last year's Canadian auto sales, so it's not surprising that April 2021 showed a big rebound.

However, it noted that last month's seasonally adjusted rate of sales slipped to 1.66 million vehicles — which was lower than the 1.91 million vehicles reported in March.

The firm says the Canadian automotive market continues to be affected by disruptions in the supply of microchips used in vehicles.

DesRosiers also says sales during the seasonally busy month of May will warrant close attention as vaccination drives ramp up and microchip shortages persist.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021.

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