Canada’s auto industry grew 1.3% in June 2013, an increase of a couple thousand vehicles. No brand sold more often than Ford. No manufacturer sold more vehicles than Ford Motor Company. No June in history saw Canadians buy more vehicles than they did last month.
Ford MoCo, the Chrysler Group, and General Motors combined to to own 46.4% of the market, up from 45.5% in June 2012. Their market share in the United States in June was 46.8%, up from 46.7% a year ago.
Although it’s becoming more and more difficult to perfectly determine (and agree on) what makes a passenger car qualify as passenger car, by the definitions of Canada’s Desrosiers Automotive Reports, car sales fell 4.9% in June, accounting for just 43.7% of the industry’s total volume, down from 46.6% a year ago.
This trend in the overall Canadian market is supported by the developments of Canada’s class-defining best sellers.
Canada’s perennial top-selling car, the Honda Civic, isn’t Canada’s most popular car in 2013. Although it held on for a narrow margin of victory in the month of June, outselling the Hyundai Elantra by 27 units, the Civic has managed to end the first half of 2013 as the second-best seller. Because of the Elantra’s growth? Well, yes, Elantra volume is up 12.8% this year. But the Civic, like the overarching passenger car category, is down this year. Its 11.2% drop equals 3599 fewer sales for Honda.
Moreover, the Civic hadn’t been selling as well last year as it had at the heights of 2006, 2007, and 2008, when more than 70,000 were sold annually. Honda Canada will have to work hard to sell more than 60,000 Civics this year.
Meanwhile, Canada’s consistently dominant utility vehicle, the Ford Escape – which didn’t sell more than 26,000 copies annually between 2004 and 2006, not more than 40,000 until 2010, and nearly equalled 2011’s total of 44,248 with 44,099 sales last year – has risen 12.7% in the first half of 2013. All brands haven’t reported their model-specific June numbers, but through May, Canada’s utility vehicle market was up 5.6%, a growth rate that was more than twice as healthy as that of the overall market.
And yes, even after a record 2012, Ford Canada is on pace to blow its own F-Series pickup truck sales record out of the water. Last month, Ford produced a record number of F-Series sales: 11,051, which accounts for 6.4% of the industry’s volume. Twelve trucks combined for a 9.5% increase in truck sales in June, ever so slightly better than the year-to-date improvement of 9.3%.
Nevertheless, although 175 out of every 1000 Canadian new vehicle buyers in Canada chooses a pickup truck, that still leaves plenty of room for far-flung corners of the market to create news, both good and bad.
Down 25.8% this year, Volvo reported its 14th consecutive year-over-year decrease in June. Porsche reported its 18th consecutive year-over-year increase. Jeep sold more Wranglers in June than any month in history. Subaru also set a June and first-half record – the Forester accounts for just under one-third of the brand’s Canadian sales.
Since we’re unable to eat at In-N-Out Burger and since we’ve only recently been offered a few Target locations, you would think Canadians would bask in the opportunity to buy cars Americans can’t have. (You wouldn’t actually think that, would you?) But the Chevrolet Orlando has plunged 48.9% in Canada this year, and fell 77.8% to 125 units in June, the Orlando’s lowest total since its first month on sale, September 2011.
Is this because of the arrival of the second iteration of another car Americans can’t buy? Kia Rondo sales jumped 117% to 945 units in June. For perspective, consider that Honda sold 1125 Odysseys, Toyota sold 1327 Siennas, Dodge sold 4278 Grand Caravans, and Mazda 5 sells fell 50% to 233. And what of the Chevrolet Trax, an inexpensive Buick Encore? June sales shot up to 982 units, the Trax’s best month yet. 3711 have been sold since January. Buick has sold 1344 Encores; 237 in June.
Clearly the growth in auto sales in Canada has slowed, but it’s important to keep in mind that the market hadn’t declined as drastically as the U.S. market did, post-recession. Watchful eyes will be trained to look out for worse decreases among cars or, perhaps, a slowing of the Ford F-Series and Ram P/U when the new GM truck twins hit full stride. Crew cab versions went on sale in late June.