By on January 22, 2013

Congratulations to the Big H; Honda managed to capture the top spot in Canadian passenger car sales for the 15th year running, while also earning the dubious honor-or, honour, as it would be spelled in Canada – of offering the slowest-selling vehicle in Canada.

Despite the volley of criticism leveled at the 2012 Civic, Canadians made it the best-selling passenger car yet again by a massive margin (by Canadian new car market standards). The second place Hyundai Elantra trailed the Civic by some 14,000 units. 8 of the top 10 passenger cars on the list were small, with the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta and Hyundai Accent rounding out the list.

Adding light trucks to the mix bumps the Civic down to #3, with the Ford F-Series and Dodge Ram taking the top two spots, with the Dodge Grand Caravan bookending the Civic at #4. Following the 5th place Elantra is the Ford Escape and GMC Sierra, while the Chevrolet Silverado trails the Corolla and Mazda3 at 10th place. Clearly, high gasoline prices aren’t stopping Canadians from indulging in the same full-size truck fetish as our American neighbors.

At the opposite end of the scale, Canada’s worst-selling car is the Honda Insight, with a mere 168 units sold. In fairness, supply of the Insight, and the CR-Z, Canada’s third-worst seller, are restricted by Honda Canada due to a lack of demand and the poor exchange rate making them extremely unprofitable. But there’s no excuse for not selling more units than the second-place Mitsubishi i, which might be the last truly dreadful car left on sale.

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25 Comments on “Honda Captures First And Last Place In Canadian New Car Market...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Honda was second behind Toyota in recalls in the U.S., down from first place year. Way to go!

  • avatar
    86er

    “Clearly, high gasoline prices aren’t stopping Canadians from indulging in the same full-size truck fetish as our American neighbors.”

    If I can get demographical for a second, there are far more continental similarities on a north-south continuum than east-west.

    • 0 avatar
      beken

      I worked in the oil patch last year. You really do need a full size 4X4 pickup truck at the very least to be there. Very few cars. I even rented a small crossover AWD (Nissan Roque or MINI Countryman) and they are very marginal for getting around up there.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Congratulations to Honda for selling lots of Civics to Canadians. I think the fact that Honda assembles it in Ontario helps their sales. Of course the Corolla is also built in Ontario but I guess it wasn’t vanilla enough (or maybe it was too vanilla?) or cheap enough this year to win even the #2 spot.

    I saw an Escalade recently here in Southern Maine with Quebec plates on it. I was baffled that a Quebecer would buy an Escalade with gas at 1.22 to 1.38/litre (according to quebecgasprices.com). Apparently some people have money to burn.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      Notice how you saw the Escalade in the U.S. of A. I know lots of people who live in Canada and haven’t bought a drop of gas in Canada in years (the odd exception for a trip to Toronto). When you live 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the border it’s real easy and worth it to fill up the tank in another country.

      How do you tell a Canadian in the USA? He has a Turkey under one arm, a jug of milk under the other, and his hands smell like gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Lol. I was in Toronto last summer, had a wonderful time. But as I listened to the locals talk to each other and us, I could see how this joke originated. Compound the backbreaking taxes with insane real estate in places like Toronto and Vancouver, I’d be hopping that border frequently too to save a buck.

    • 0 avatar

      Please don’t even try to compare the Corolla to the Civic. I mean, I get that the 2012 Civic had a cruddy interior and lost a lot of its shine, but at least it had more than 4 gears and had been re-designed recently. Plenty buy the Corolla (obviously), but plenty also recognize that its gloriously uncompetitive even next to the uncompetitive Civic of 2012.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        Agreed – when my wife was shopping for a new Civic, I pointed out that the Corolla was dated – and gets about 4 mpg less on the highway due to a 4-speed transmission vs. the 5-speed the Civic has.

  • avatar

    As a Canadian, I would think that most Pick Ups (Trucks) are purchased in Western Canada, especially Alberta where the Tar Sands are located, also in Sask and probably Northern Ontario too, he Honda Civic has a good record and its easy on Gasoline too.

    • 0 avatar
      Easton

      Ever been to rural Alberta?! I almost think 4 wheel drive must be a requirement to live there. Last time I was there roughly 9 out of 10 vehicles out there were 4×4 three-quarter ton trucks.

      That said, I think it is more of a rural-urban thing than an east-west thing. I live in a small town in Ontario where at least half of the vehicles on the road are trucks.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    IMO, the reason I like the CR-Z is that nobody else is driving it. It’s probably the most interesting commuter car available and you don’t get stuck having to drive co-workers out during lunch.

  • avatar
    Easton

    Civic is crap. And not even cheap crap. I never understood the popularity of them here, especially after they lost their sporty edge in 2001.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      I’ve owned three Civics, all new from the dealer, the last one being a 2008. The 2008 shed parts like a Cavalier and the brake rotors warped every 5000 KM. And the arrogance of Honda dealers always turned my stomach.

      The only car that I ever had that shed parts faster was my wife’s Mini. I didn’t have to worry about dealer arrogance with that car but the nearest dealer was 2 hours away! Wow, what a chore to continually take it in for warranty service. 11 times in 18 months.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        Did anybody ever check the runout on those warped discs?

      • 0 avatar
        jjster6

        Steve65, I don’t know what a run out is. It seems the dealer didn’t either.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        I hear a lot of complaints about warped rotors in Hondas but I’ve never experienced it. My Accord V6 6MT is supposed to eat rotors according to the internets – but I usually get 50-60k miles out of the fronts before they start to shudder. The typical reason is that the lugnuts are either overtightened or not tightened correctly – your dealership is probably just shoddy.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        Runout is the measurement of how badly warped they are. You (they) set up a dial gauge and rotate the disc, and measure how far out of true they are.

        Many “warped” discs are still perfectly true. What’s happened is that it developed either a hard spot or a glazed spot. That causes that section of the disc to have a different amount of friction, which gives a pulsing pedal which feels the same as warpage.

        I’ve cured a set of “warped” rotors by simply cleaning with emery paper, and then repeating the brake pad break in procedure.

        If a mechanic tells you your rotors are warped, ask what the runout spec is, and what’s measured. If they can’t tell you or don’t know what you’re talking about, find a new mechanic.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I had a 2010 for a couple years – I’m not saying it was Lotus levels of sporty, but it’s the most competent late-model compact I’ve driven. It was just a thoroughly competent car.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I’m on my third Civic as a daily driver. I’ve never had a problem with any of them. My mom is driving the first one with 140k on it (15 years old) and it still runs like it’s new.

    My current Civic, an ’09 LX Coupe with a manual transmission is fun to drive, rather zippy and averages 33 mpg. Plus they do a great job at holding their resale value. I’ll probably buy another one yet.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    As a Honda owner, I’m delighted at the sales disaster befalling the Insight and the CR-Z.

    Why? Because it represents Honda’s management team getting it’s butt kicked for making bad product decisions and coasting on the company’s momentum. The same folks that brought us the grenading transmissions in the V-6 models, the infamous Acura beak, and who left the excellent Element concept to die on the market because they were too smug and self-protective to fix the fatal flaws they saddled it with.

    I’ve been reading about some of Honda’s innovative proposals based on the Fit platform, and I’m convinced we never would have seen these if the company had been allowed to get away with selling crap.

    • 0 avatar
      autoguy

      I concur, both cars demonstrate everything that is wrong with Honda’s leadership, at first I was intrigued by the Cr-z but the final product was so poorly executed I grew to hate the vehicle the more I learned about it. Hopefully, Honda will put the Cr-z out its misery this year. Unfortunately, Acura stubbornly continues with its hideous beak and no amount of tweaking will hide the fact that Acura needs new design studios (Honda needs new design studios too) as the design studios used by both don’t have a clue as to how to design truly attractive vehicles.


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