By on December 16, 2013


November 2013 went down as the highest-volume November in the history of Canadian auto sales. It followed three consecutive years with November improvements.

November is traditionally not a high-volume month for automakers in Canada, and by the standards of the previous eight months, last month was no different from the norm. Nevertheless, compared with the previous year’s 126,000 November new vehicle sales, last month’s 134,000-unit result represented a massive change, a change which was brought on by all but a handful of automobile brands.


GMC and Hyundai both posted very slim losses. Kia sales fell 4% – Kia Canada hasn’t reported a brand-wide year-over-year improvement since last December. Chevrolet sales slid 4%, although big improvements at Buick and Cadillac helped push GM Canada to a 0.6% increase. Acura was down 6%; its Honda parent brand posted a 13% gain and its best November since 2006. Chrysler brand sales fell 16%, Scion was down 25%, and predictably, Suzuki fell 75%.


On the flip side, an industry which collectively rose 6.5% was shoved along by a 34% uptick at Jeep, 22% gains at BMW, Buick, and Subaru, a 20% Nissan improvement, and some significant percentage gains at low-volume brands like Maserati, Jaguar, Cadillac, Lincoln, and Land Rover. Chrysler Group sales jumped 13%, the Toyota brand trio was up 7%, and the VW Group was up 3%, 428 sales back of Nissan Canada.


With a few of their products, Volkswagen Canada is undergoing the same sort of problems the brand is encountering in the United States. Through eleven months, the replace-it-already Golf is down 13%. The Golf plays a much greater role in Canada (19% of VW sales) than it does in the U.S. (8% of VW sales). So soon after its introduction, Passat sales are down 4% in 2013.


Still, the Jetta’s Canadian success mostly overshadows these issues, as it accounts for 49% of Volkswagen brand sales in Canada. Jetta sales are up 16% this year but fell 5% in November. Passat sales actually jumped 35% in November. The Tiguan has been aided by a price drop that’s seen YTD volume jump 26%; it’s attracting 12% of Volkswagen sales in Canada, just 7% in the U.S. Volkswagen’s market share in Canada this year has risen from 3.5% to 3.6%. Volkswagen owns just 2.6% of the U.S. market, down from 3% a year ago.


Like Volkswagen, Mazda also succeeds to a far greater extent in Canada, where it owns 4.1% of the market. (Only 1.8% of U.S. new vehicle buyers choose a Mazda.) Mazda has struggled through much of 2013 to find growth, but the 3’s transition, despite the 6’s massive 72% drop to just 212 sales, helped fuel a 13% year-over-year increase in November.


Including the Fiat 500L, Chrysler car sales rose 14% in November 2013. 43% of the group’s car volume was generated by the Dart, the best-selling car in the lineup in November, which was the Dart’s best Canadian sales month so far. The Dart was Canada’s 11th-best-selling car last month.


Honda sold more than four times that many Civics, however, and that was more than enough for Canada’s best-selling car to hold its title for a seventh consecutive month. The Mazda 3 ranked second, but trailed the Civic by more than 2000 units.


Ford’s Escape was Canada’s top-selling utility vehicle in November, even with its 4% decline. The Escape leads the second-ranked Toyota RAV4 (up 42% in November) by 11,289 sales with one month remaining on the calendar. The BMW X5 ranked 17th in Canadian utility vehicle sales in November. With 912 sales, the X5 found more new owners than the Ford Explorer, GMC Terrain, and all other premium brand SUV/CUV nameplates.


Trucks continue to headline Canadian auto sales stories. 16.7% of all the new vehicles sold last month were pickups, a vehicle category which produced a 5.9% year-over-year increase. Only 6% of the trucks sold weren’t full-size pickups. Together, sales of the full-size F-Series, Ram, Sierra, Silverado, Tundra, and Titan were up 8.5%.


Minivans, on the other hand, slid 8.1%. Subtract the Mazda 5, Chevrolet Orlando, and Kia Rondo – the latter two are unavailable in America – and remaining big minivans were actually up 11%. Only 965 copies of those small vans were sold last month, a 55% year-over-year decrease.


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9 Comments on “Cain’s Segments: Canada Recap...”

  • avatar

    Nearly all of this should be behind the jump, yet none is as of this posting. Wake up, Baruth!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I guess I missed something, but what’s wrong with GM in Canada?

    They’re losing 8% of their slice every year for 9 years! It’s not a huge market, but you’d think they’d do something to stop the trend.

    • 0 avatar

      GM Canada really misses Pontiac, it was a very strong brand in Canada. Pontiac stores were all over rural Ontario, they are all gone for the most part. I think that accounts for a lot of the decline.

    • 0 avatar

      @SCE to AUX….I’m a Canadian and as a retired GM worker,have owned many GM cars, and still do.

      I can tell you why GM has issues in Canada. One word “dealers”. In fairness, they have certainly cleaned their act up,in recent years.

      Going back to the 70s, up to about 2005, these guys did a lot of damage to the GM Canada brand. Everybody you talked to, had a” GM dealer story” The arogence, rudeness,incompetents, down right fraudulent practices,where indeed, the norm.

      We Canadians get accused of being too polite. Sometimes to our detriment. I know of several people, that after being screwed at the dealer,didn’t rant, and rave. They just walked out the door,and never came back.

      I could write a book on the issues I had with a brand new 89 S15. Most of the problems with that truck could be traced back to the service department,of one of Canadas highest volume dealerships.

      True story. I was making a deal on a new 97 Sierra 1500 WT. The salesman/manager, and I were whithin a $100 dollars. They weren’t moving, and I wasn’t moving. I offered to split the diference.

      The guys answer ” you GM guys think you can walk in here and demand everything” I got a little pi$$ed, and said “were talking about fifty bucks dude” The a$$–le then says “you make fifty bucks an hour”

      I told where he could put his Sierra. I have never set foot in that dealership again.

  • avatar

    I like the idea that a brand like Mazda does well here. But, so sad the Mazda 6 isn’t selling. Whenever I (rarely) see one, I think, ‘what a gorgeous car, why would you buy a Cam-Cord over that?’ As for the Dodge Dart, well they sure aren’t buying them in “Oil-berta.” I don’t think I’ve seen more than 2-3 since it launched. Ram trucks however, I think every kid in Edmonton gets one for graduating high-school.

  • avatar

    Why is Chrysler lumped in with the “Big 3″ still?

    This is a foreign owned company…just like Toyota, Mazda, BMW, etc..

  • avatar

    The difference between USA and Canadian sales as well as what is available is interesting. Many seem to think that we are exactly the same as Americans. The stats show some of our differences.

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