Canada Sales Recap: August 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Canadians continued to buy new vehicles at a record-setting pace in August 2014 as the market expanded in all corners, SUVs and crossovers; pickup trucks; commercial vans; minivans; and even passenger cars.

The industry’s 8% year-over-year improvement equalled more than 12,000 extra sales in the Canadian market for automakers of virtually all stripes, from Ford and General Motors to the Volkswagen Group and Toyota.

Chrysler Canada volume jumped 22%. Despite being outsold by Ford/Lincoln in each of the last five months, Chrysler’s five-brand conglomerate leads the manufacturer sales results on year-to-date terms, albeit marginally. Nissan Canada, meanwhile, posted 32% YOY improvement even as Infiniti struggled to maintain momentum, falling 4%.

Through the first half of 2012, pickup trucks were anchors on the industry’s plans for another year of record sales, sliding 1%. But July and August told different stories – August sales, specifically, were up 3% – and trucks are now helping to push the market forward. 93% of all pickup trucks sold in Canada in August were Fords, Rams, or GM products; only 4% were small/midsize pickups.

Similarly, the move away from midsize cars, while continuing to be a general theme, was not applicable over the course of the summer. Granted, intermediate sedans are not growing as rapidly as the overall market of late, rising 3% in August as the market shot up 8%, but they weren’t pulling the industry downward. In each of the last two months, the Hyundai Sonata has been Canada’s top-selling midsize car. The Ford Fusion leads a segment in which, through eight months, sales are down 16%.

While Fusion sales have tumbled 14% this year and Ford’s car division has fallen 12%, the Escape has almost completely made up for those losses. (Ford brand car sales are down by 6045 units; Escape sales are up by 5862 units.) Escape volume has topped 5000 units in four consecutive months. No other SUV or crossover topped the 3660-unit mark during that period (the RAV4, in August) and the Escape itself hadn’t climbed above 5000 units in Canada since June 2011. 9% of the utility vehicles sold in Canada last month were Escapes.

The Escape-related MKC was Lincoln’s top seller last month, generating just under half of all Lincoln volume and about half the total sales of Audi’s Q5, the top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. Incidentally, the Macan was also Porsche’s best-selling model in August, the first such month for that occurrence, as well.

Another top-selling vehicle in Canada has also outperformed its norm in recent months. Dodge’s Grand Caravan has topped the 5000-unit mark in three of the last four months, rising 29% to 5178 units in August. Minivans, including the Kia Rondo and Chevrolet Orlando which lack sliding doors, accounted for 5.6% of all new vehicle sales in Canada last month, compared with 3.3% in the United States. The Grand Caravan owns 61% of Canada’s “full-size” minivan segment, excluding the trio of mini-minivans.

Honda continues to be the maker of Canada’s best-selling car. Civic volume in August was 1.6 times stronger than the sales of the next-best-selling car, Toyota’s Corolla. The Civic has been Canada’s in sixteen consecutive years. 2014 will undoubtedly be the seventeenth.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Chocolatedeath Chocolatedeath on Sep 29, 2014

    So do you think that the sales of the MKC will dwindle down in six months or so due to folks being used too it? I know that markets are different there than here and I cant see the MKC making up half of Lincolns sales in the USA. However I do see that plus a new MKX making up half together. What do you think?

    • Timothy Cain Timothy Cain on Sep 29, 2014

      Until we know how the next MKX will be positioned in Canada, it's difficult to predict the MKC's future. This is a growing segment, and the MKC is, by most accounts, a competitive effort. The MKX has BEEN Lincoln in Canada over the last few years. A partner crossover won't hurt the brand. The class-leading Q5 does 650 units/month. Half that total, on a consistent basis, for the MKC doesn't seem like a stretch at all.

  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.