Canada Sales Recap: July 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

July 2014’s year-over-year Canadian auto sales growth was more significant than the monthly growth rate achieved at any time in the last two years, a period which included record annual sales in 2013.

Not since May 2012, when auto sales jumped 18%, has this rate of growth during a record-setting period been anything much more than gradual. Yet with 18,000 more July sales in 2014 than in 2013 – an 11% improvement – the gradual rate of change suddenly switched to a rapid rate of expansion.

A first half of decline in the pickup truck sector turned into a July in which pickup sales rose by more than 5000 units, a 20% year-over-year increase. Sales of the Ford F-Series, Canada’s best-selling vehicle line, jumped 24%. Chevrolet Silverado sales shot up to their highest level since June 2010; GMC Sierra sales climbed above 5000 units for the first time since June 2011. Pickup trucks generated 18.6% of the overall industry’s July volume.

Although the rate of growth in the luxury utility vehicle sector didn’t actually match the overall SUV/crossover category’s ascent throughout the first half of 2014, the smaller premium subset took off in July. Total SUV/crossover sales jumped 18% in July, but Audi Q5-class utilities, helped by 437 Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan sales and a 344-unit uptick from BMW’s three smallest X models, were up 30%.

The Ford Escape is Canada’s most popular utility vehicle. In July, the Escape sold 58% more often than the next-best-selling Honda CR-V. The Ford brand sold 5612 passenger cars last month and 5078 Escapes.

Honda’s Civic, which for the second time in three months and the second time in the last 40 months sold more than 7000 copies, accounted for 9% of all new passenger cars sold in Canada in July 2014. Canadian new car sales are down nearly 2% in 2014, but July volume rose 6%, a 4300-unit increase, thanks in large part to almost 1000 extra Civic sales. (Like the Civic, the Toyota Camry is the traditional top-selling car in America, but it accounts for a less-dominant 5.5% of America’s car market in 2014.)

Together, the Canadian divisions of the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler Group/FCA accounted for 46% of the new vehicles sold in Canada in July, 64% of the “light truck” volume, and just 21% of new car sales. Unlike the three Chrysler Group brands and Ford and Lincoln, however, GM car volume was up sharply in July, a 21% improvement. These car improvements were essential to GM’s overall 25% increase in July, a massive change from a first half in which GM volume slid 2%.

Both in July and on year-to-date terms, GM remains the third-largest auto seller in Canada. Chrysler’s five brands have combined for 174,599 sales through the first seven months of 2014; Ford and Lincoln another 171,981. The Ford Motor Company has been Canada’s top-selling manufacturer in each of the last four months.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 19, 2014

    Pch101 - yawn......... once again insults over substance. North American made trucks are overpriced. Ford makes most of its global profits from trucks. A luxury trimmed truck has a profit margin in the 40% range. A base crewcab 4x4 Ford F150 is 37K and a Limited is 57K. It doesn't cost 20K to add leather and 20 inch wheels. Another sign that trucks are overpriced are rebates. They've been up in the 8-12k range depending on model and time of year. You take those trucks and add 10K and that is the retail price for them in Canada. I appreciate all of the time and effort you spend on research. It is impressive ;)

    • Pch101 Pch101 on Aug 20, 2014

      "North American made trucks are overpriced." If you believe that, then the stuff made in Thailand will make you have a seizure. Perhaps you should go down to Australia and save them from themselves. They would save money if they were able to pay American prices.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Aug 20, 2014

    @Lou_BC - Why even bring up truck's "overpriced" MSRP, since everyone gets about $10K off, on the average pickup sold. Irrelevant, wouldn't you say? It's the transactional price that matters, no? What exactly are US pickups, like the Titan and Tundra, so "protected" from? BMW makes an evil 1/2 ton pickup to kill them all? Does ANYONE make a fullsize global pickup? What a about a global 1 ton dually pickup for up to 30,000 lbs trailers??? Seems like the Frontier, Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon would be the only trucks that need to worry or drop prices. If at all. So what's there to entice global OEMs to small dying segment split 12 ways? With shockingly low transactional prices, compared to what the rest of the world pays??? So which trucks have a 25% tariff? And why would these ghost trucks pay it? But you seem to think if Mitsu, Mahindra, Proton, VW, etc, pickups were sold here, fullsize pickups would have to severely drop their (transactional) prices. This makes no kind of sense. Laughable! They're hardly direct competition. Especially if consumers aren't in it for the lyfestile. German luxury cars sell at astronomical prices (with no real rebates), when there's a long list of luxury brands that severely undercut their prices. And they don't even bat an eye!

    • See 1 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Aug 20, 2014

      @Lou_BC - You're talking in circles. Call it an "overpriced" phantom MSRP if nobody pays anything anywhere near it. So again, why call fullsize pickups "overpriced" if they SELL for much, much LESS than MSRP??? Midsize trucks cost the same to build as fullsize, but that hardly means they're in direct competition. If BMWs and Mercedes cost as much to build, are they in direct competition too??? So what global pickups would be "direct" competition for fullsize pickups? List makes and models. Besides Proton... But they would not pay 25%. Or anywhere near it. But the question remains, Do global OEMs want to jump into a dying market and split the remaining scraps 12 ways? For US consumers and fleet, not willing to pay very much? Or are we talking non profit orgs???

  • Theflyersfan Adding to what Posky said (and for once, I kinda agree with what he wrote), and as an auto enthusiast it kills me to think this, but why should auto makers care about enthusiasts any longer? Hear me out... It can be argued that the first real enthusiasts were those coming home from WW2, having served in Europe, and fell in love with their cars. And Detroit responded. That carried over to the Boomers and Gen X. The WW2 generation for all sakes and purposes is no longer with us. The Boomers are decreasing in number. The first years of Gen X are nearing retirement. After us (Gen X), that's when we see the love of cars tail off. That was the generation that seemed to wait to get a license, grew up with smart phones and social media, got saddled with crippling home and student debt, and just didn't have the same love that we have. They for the most part are voting on do-all CUVs. Yes, automakers throw us a bone with special models, but they tend to be very expensive, saddled with markups, high insurance rates, and sometimes rare. Looking at you Audi and Lexus. Friends of mine who currently have or have just raised teens said their kids just don't care about cars. Their world is not out in the open and enjoying the moment with the roar of the engine. It's in the world they created for themselves at their fingertips. If they want bland and an appliance, that's what will be built.
  • Kosmo Nope. Not ever. They are not our friends.
  • Aja8888 No, only Chinese food.
  • Rochester Assuming a quality build, competitive pricing and reliable service, then of course. The only people who think otherwise have a distorted (and shamefully manipulated) sense of nationalism. It's just a car, not an Olympic medal.
  • Daniel J I wouldn't buy an envision so why would I buy a Chinese made car from a Chinese owned company?