Canadian Manufacturing

Oil’s decline will erode car buyers’ confidence in 2015, says dealer

Canada's largest publicly traded car dealership sees slower sales in the West and the Maritimes

EDMONTON—The country’s largest publicly traded car dealership, Edmonton-based AutoCanada Inc., says 2014 was a very good year but 2015 will be challenging because of the troubles besetting the oil and gas industry.

AutoCanada said its fourth-quarter revenue nearly doubled to $653.5 million from $319.7 million and its adjusted net earnings rose by 47.8 per cent to $13.3 million.

For the full year ended Dec. 31, AutoCanada’s revenue was up 57.2 per cent or $805.7 million to $3.2 billion, while adjusted net earnings increased by 35.8 per cent to $51.6 million.

However, AutoCanada said the latter half of December and first two months of 2015 have been challenging for the company, especially in Western Canada, due to the economic impact of lower oil and gas prices.

It says vehicle sales in early 2015 have been significantly lower than forecasts and margins have been narrower—not only because of lower consumer confidence in the West but also record snowfall in the Maritimes.

AutoCanada currently operates 48 dealerships in eight provinces. Through them, it sells a wide variety of automotive brands from various manufacturers including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi, Kia, and BMW.

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