Noted research firm DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says that kilometers driven in Canada are continuing to track below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, but are looking stable.
Kilometers driven is a key metric used by the aftermarket to forecast demand for parts and service.
While the pandemic certainly had a significant impact on the driving habits of Canadians, recent data has suggested that late 2021 activity had returned and even surpassed 2019 levels.
The latest report from DesRosiers stands in stark contrast to that.
“There has been some mobility data recently that suggested that in the final 6 months of 2021 Canadians were driving well above the levels of 2019. We at DAC question such numbers based on our ongoing input from industry partners and indeed from DAC analysis of gas consumption data,” says the firm.
“Even when factoring in increasing ZEV counts and the improved fuel economy of the fleet we can’t build a case that kilometres driven in the second half of 2021 were significantly ahead of 2019.
“Looking at the DAC analysis, what’s also of note is the decline in gas consumption in the preliminary data for Q1 2022 – when prices at the pumps jumped dramatically.
“Kilometres driven has shown remarkable resilience in Canada throughout the past 2 years,” comment Andrew King, Managing Partner at DAC.
“Recent gas price increases have undoubtedly impacted that dynamic, but the relative inelasticity of demand and continued use of vehicles means KM driven are unlikely to fall dramatically, and will provide support for the aftermarket in the coming months.”