Canada Auto Sales Recap: October 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

In October 2014, for the first time since March of this year, the Chrysler Group outsold all other automobile manufacturers in Canada.

The margins were slim: only 259 units separated Chrysler Group’s five brands from the Ford Motor Compan y; only 301 stood between the Chrysler Group and General Motors. But these are celebratory moments for an automaker which owns 15.6% of the Canadian market. Chrysler Group’s market share in its “home” U.S. market stands at 12.6% through the first ten months of 2014.

Pickup trucks, minivans, and utility vehicles continue to be the driving force for Chrysler in Canada. The Ram P/U, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep brand, and Dodge’s Journey and Durango generated 83% of Chrysler Group sales in Canada in October, and this during a month in which the company says its car sales grew 34%.

Indeed, the Chrysler 200 was Canada’s top-selling midsize car last month, a story we covered last week. Non-200 Chrysler Group car sales were down 6%.

Both pickup trucks and minivans are greater volume producers in Canada than they are in the United States. Pickups accounted for 17.2% of all new vehicle sales last month; minivans another 4.4%. (Those groups owned 15.8% and 3.2% of the U.S. market in October.) Chrysler is consistently poised to take advantage of those Canadian tendencies. Ram P/U sales jumped 15% to 6591 units in October, 25% of the truck market. The Grand Caravan was responsible for 62% of the country’s “full-size” MPV sales, Mazda 5, Chevrolet Orlando, and Kia Rondo excluded.

Jeep, meanwhile, is at the forefront of the continued SUV/crossover craze. Canada’s new vehicle market has expanded 5.6% through the first ten months of 2014, surging to record high levels after record volume was created in calendar year 2013. But pickup truck sales are up just 3% and, according to Automotive News, car sales are down slightly less than 1%.

Utility vehicles have more than made up the slack, and the sector has undeniably been hugely helped by the mostly Cherokee-powered surge at Jeep, Canada’s second-fastest-growing brand. (Maserati sales are up 141% to 417 units this year. Jeep is up 62% to 59,728.)

Total SUV/crossover sales are up nearly 16%, equalling 32.6% of the overall new vehicle industry’s volume, up from 29.8% during the first ten months of 2013. Jeep’s Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee rank seventh, eighth, and 13th among SUVs and crossovers.

Canada’s top-selling utility in October was, of course, the Ford Escape. Though sales dipped 5% in October, Escape volume is up 17% this year to 45,152 units, more than any other SUV or crossover will manage in the full twelve months of 2014. The Escape has been the category’s best seller every month this year after conquering all SUVs and crossovers in ten of 2013’s twelve months.

Taking all vehicles into account, the Escape is Canada’s fourth-best-selling nameplate, ahead of all but two truck lines and one car.

October also marked a slowdown for Honda’s Civic, perpetually Canada’s best-selling car, although the compact Honda managed to lead all cars despite its 14% year-over-year decline. Civic sales are up 5% this year in a stagnant car sector – October flipped these results, with the Civic’s decline and a 2% improvement in total car sales. In fact, all of Canada’s six best-selling cars and eight of the top twelve posted decreased October sales.

Helping to push the car market forward last month was volume generated by a number of cars which didn’t exist (or barely existed) in the Canadian market at this time a year ago. Canadians registered 2366 combined copies of the Nissan Micra, Acura TLX, BMW 2-Series, BMW i3, Cadillac ELR, Dodge Viper, and Audi A3 in October, a combined 9000% year-over-year increase.

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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  • Mandalorian Mandalorian on Nov 18, 2014

    Canada tries to be different from the US without being too different. They prefer the Ram over the F-Series and Silverado.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 19, 2014

      @Mandalorian - incorrect. We prefer the Sierra over the Silverado and the Ram over both. The F series is in 1st. 1 - F seies 2 - Ram 3 - Sierra 4 - Silverado 5 - Tundra 6 - Tacoma The USA is: 1 - F Series 2 - Silverado 3 - Ram 4 - Sierra 5 - Tacoma 6 - Tundra Americans like their Chevrolet's and Ford's.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 18, 2014

    FCA is on a roll in Canada. Aggressive marketing is part of the picture. The principle of the local FCA dealer "parted ways" after one too many incidents of deceptive marketing. The other dealers in town are bright enough to have at least one bottom price loss leader on the lot if advertised. The only way I'd consider any FCA product is if the had higher quality and durability ratings. Until then I'd rather overpay for a Toyota or Honda minivan than own another "4 visits a year for repairs" Grand Caravan.

  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
  • ToolGuy Also on to-do list: Read the latest Steve S. fiction work on TTAC (May 20 Junkyard Find)
  • 1995 SC I'm likely in the minority, but I really liked the last Eldorado best. That and the STS.
  • Dartdude Typical Joe, bribing people for votes. He will do anything to re-elected, but as soon as he is he will go back on everything he says and does. America has never been this venerable as it is today. NO country respect Joe and what he says.
  • Theflyersfan Since I'm one of a couple of IT guys that supports the network, server administration, and all things computer related at a 24/7 logistics center (only closed on Christmas), I have to work some of the long weekend. But there's still time after we close early on Monday to fire up the grill and smoker, have a few friends over and scarf down some smoky rubbed ribs and burgers. Remember those soldiers who have died. I'm sure those in my generation had grandfathers who fought in WW2 and fathers who fought in Vietnam. I have my grandfather's dog tags and his enlistment card framed as a reminder of the sacrifices they made and to honor his memory.
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