Toronto, Ontario — Auto dealerships in Ontario and most of Quebec have reopened for the first time since social distancing measure were introduced in March. Provincial officials in Quebec have delayed the reopening of facilities in Montreal until May 18.
Despite reopening, dealerships continue to face challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Vehicle sales in April 2020 were at half the rate of April 2019. Many consumers turning to online vehicle sales merchants, avoiding dealerships altogether.
Despite the reopening of dealerships, industry analysts are concerned that the broader economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis might soften vehicle sales. Unemployment rose by five percent in April, the first full month of social isolation, and now sits at 13 percent–the highest unemployment rate Canada has seen in the 21 century– according to figures from Stats Canada.