OMVIC survey reveals consumers, dealers and salespeople experiencing similar challenges with widespread inventory issues

Published On
April 12, 2022

Toronto, ON, April 12th, 2022 – To gain a deeper insight of COVID-19’s impact on the automotive industry and consumer behaviour, Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) surveyed consumers, dealers and salespeople across the province. The results shed light on how ongoing widespread inventory issues are negatively impacting the sector by hindering sales for both dealers and salespeople, and affecting vehicle availability for consumer purchase.

In partnership with the Automobile Protection Association (APA), a Canadian consumer protection organization, OMVIC gathered insights from car-buyers who purchased a vehicle in the first nine months of 2021. The results show how 46 per cent of consumers surveyed reported that their car-shopping experience during the COVID-19 pandemic was affected by supply chain disruptions. Additionally, roughly a third of respondents reported issues with vehicle selection, availability, or delivery.

OMVIC also surveyed the province’s 8,000 dealers and 30,000 salespeople in October 2021, in conjunction with industry stakeholders and consumer groups. Findings from this survey highlight an increasingly larger issue in that 90 per cent of dealerships are facing difficulties obtaining vehicles (new or used) for sale, compared to 78 per cent in 2020. 69 per cent of dealers noted that overall sales have decreased because of the pandemic and 39 per cent of those dealers noted that sales have decreased over 51 per cent.

The sector continues to be crippled as a result of microchip shortages worldwide and it is likely that this will continue to be a detriment to vehicle sales until manufacturers are up to full capacity and able to fulfill significant backlogs.

“OMVIC’s position as the provincial vehicle sales regulator offers a unique industry perspective when it comes to insights on automotive sales in Ontario,” says John Carmichael, CEO and Registrar at OMVIC. “The results highlight how supply issues, specifically microchip shortages restricting inventory, have impacted vehicle availability across the province which are affecting both registrants and consumer. As production for microchips begin to ramp up, I am optimistic that the future of the global and Canadian automotive industry will rebound and our dealerships across Ontario will see signs of recovery.”


OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario’s 8,000 dealerships and 30,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions (or discipline proceedings) of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). A Board of Trustees (Compensation Fund Board), appointed by OMVIC’s Board of Directors and the Ministry, is responsible for reviewing and approving claims to the Fund.

A full report of OMVIC’s survey findings is available on its website. To request an interview with John Carmichael, CEO and Registrar, OMVIC, please contact