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Poor car sales in B.C. drive down national numbers

Car sales have been slow-going in 2009 with poor results in British Columbia driving down numbers across Canada.

Car sales have been slow-going in 2009 with poor results in British Columbia driving down numbers across Canada.

If sales don’t rev up, B.C. is projected to sell 30 per cent fewer cars this year than it did in 2007, when a record 198,000 units were sold, according to a study released Monday by Scotiabank Economics.

B.C. is one of two slumping provinces — Alberta is the other — dragging down auto sales across Canada.

"Preliminary data through February indicate that sales in these two provinces have plunged 35 per cent year-over-year, nearly 10 percentage points worse than in the rest of Canada," said Carlos Gomes, Scotiabank senior economist and auto industry specialist.

He blamed the slowing construction industry, the decaying forest sector and recent job losses in B.C. for the drop in sales.

Across Canada, 16 per cent fewer new vehicles are expected to leave dealerships as the forecast was lowered to 1.38 million cars and light trucks being sold nationally.

 
 
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