Appetite grows for more environmentally friendly vehicles

RICHMOND – New car sales are expected to reach record highs again this year driven by increased consumer confidence and a number of great new products on the lot.

 

Dozens of new vehicles have been unveiled by automakers in recent months, most of which include exciting new technology to make driving safer, more efficient and more fun.

 

Many car buyers are also looking for better fuel efficiency in their rides, which most new vehicles offer.

 

This helps drivers not only save money, but also do their part to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions.

 

Low interest rates are also creating some great deals for new car buyers, allowing dealers the chance to offer incentives such as low or even zeroper-cent purchase financing.

 

These are some of the factors behind the 6.5-per-cent increase in light-vehicle sales across Canada in October (the latest data available). According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 154,949 new cars and trucks were driven off lots from coast to coast.

 

Demand for pickup trucks and SUVs was particularly strong, accounting for about 58 per cent of sales for the month.

 

In B.C., year-todate light vehicle sales increased by 6.1 per cent to 162,408 vehicles in October compared to 2013.

 

About 1.58 million vehicles were sold across Canada between January and October this year, which compares to just under 1.5 million for the same period last year. Economists are calling for 2014 to be another record year.

 

That includes a growing appetite for more environmentally friendly hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), particularly in the Lower Mainland now that Tesla has opened its first B.C. store in downtown Vancouver.

 

Other manufacturers are also selling EVs, which is leading to an increase in the number of charging stations across the province.

 

EV prices are also starting to come down, making the vehicles more affordable for some households. Unfortunately, the B.C. government stopped offering a $5,000 rebate for EVs earlier this year, which has put a damper on sales.

 

I believe it’s very important for the government to build more public charging stations and provide other incentives to help the EV market reach a more critical mass.

 

Overall, the good news for buyers is there’s a wide range of terrific new vehicles to choose from. The hard part -and for some it’s also the fun part -is picking the one that best suits your needs and wants.

 

Make sure you mark your calendar now for the 2015 Vancouver International Auto Show from March 24-29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

 

Blair Qualey is president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, based in Richmond. Email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IHIT identifies victim in Surrey shooting homicide

Pritpal Singh, 21, was shot and killed outside of a Surrey home, police say

Cloverdale high school teacher chats about teaching and life during the COVID-19 crisis

Surrey’s Walter van Halst sits down for an informal ‘virtual’ coffee to discuss education’s current new reality

Celebrating Easter in Surrey, during COVID-19

Surrey’s Christian churches rise to the occasion, despite Coronavirus challenges

33-storey Whalley highrise, first of three phases, moves to public hearing

Councillors raise concerns about school overcrowding, green roofs

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Most Read