9% Of Canadians Are Thankful For Their Civics

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. Around turkey-laden tables across the country today, Canadians will utter their thanks for family, cranberry sauce, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, warm socks, and Honda Civics.

In each of the last 16 years – a streak which began in 1998 – the Civic has been Canada’s best-selling passenger car. If Honda Canada stopped selling the Civic now, the lead built up by this hugely popular nameplate would nearly be sufficient for the Civic to end 2014 as Canada’s best-selling car.

For a vehicle which suffered declining sales following the heydays of the eighth-generation car between 2006 and 2008, when Honda sold an average of 71,000 per year, 2014 is looking especially bright. Honda sold fewer than 59,000 Civics per year, on average, between 2009 and 2011 but has topped 64,000 units in each of the last two years. Whether Honda sells 69,000 or 71,000 Civics in 2014, we know the figure will result in at least a six-year high.

51,936 Civics have been sold during 2014’s first nine months, an 8% year-over-year improvement.

Yet Canada’s passenger car market is down 1% over the span of 2014’s first nine months. As a result, the Civic’s share of the car market has improved, noticeably so. 8.6% of the cars sold in Canada this year have been Civics, up from 7.9% at the three-quarter mark a year ago. When Honda sold 72,463 Civics in 2008, the Civic was responsible for 8.2% of the car market, and cars accounted for 54.3% of the overall new vehicle market. Traditional passenger cars generate 42.3% of the industry’s volume in 2014.

The total number of Civics sold in Canada in 2014 exceeds the number of cars sold by Ford and Lincoln and is nearly double the number of car sales reported by the Chrysler Group.

The story is pertinent at this time not because of Thanksgiving but because, in September, the Civic was also Canada’s second-best-selling vehicle overall, well back of the all-conquering Ford F-Series but ahead of the usual number two, Ram’s truck lineup. This marked the first such occasion since October of last year.

The Civic was Canada’s top-ranked vehicle line in 2008, but Canada’s taste for full-size pickup trucks has accelerated since then, rising from 190,000 units in calendar year 2008 (11.6% of the overall industry) to 242,000 units in just the first nine months of 2014, equal to 17% of the industry’s total new vehicle sales volume.

How does this compare with U.S. results? Consider the midsize Camry, America’s perennial best-selling car. 5.5% of the passenger cars sold in 2014 have been Camrys, but cars are more favoured in the growing U.S. market, accounting for 48.7% of the overall market. Full-size trucks generate just 12.1% of the industry’s volume.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Mikey Mikey on Oct 13, 2014

    @Brumus...My Canada will always include Quebec. Quarts of beer, and some of the best looking girls you will find anywhere.

  • Wmba Wmba on Oct 13, 2014

    Not one post on the subject. Not surprising, its presence impinges not on the human brain. It's merely part of the backdrop from leafy rural Maritime farms through the heartland over Big Sky country and crawling through the Rockies. "It was a small car, Officer." "Uh HQ? Smith here. Look out for a Civic."

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.