By on March 18, 2015

canada auto sales chart February 2015FCA Canada outsold the Ford Motor Company by 3690 units in February 2015, stretching the company’s year-to-date lead over second-ranked FoMoCo to 7162 sales.

Keep in mind, FCA (formerly Chrysler Group) was more than 5000 sales ahead of Ford Canada at this time last year but couldn’t hold on for an annual title.

Ford continues to be the top-selling automobile brand in Canada, however, despite a 9% drop in February. Ford car sales plunged 28% last month and the brand’s utility vehicles dropped 20%. As the overall industry grew 3% year-over-year and passenger car sales improved by a small margin, the Ford car sales decline stuck out like a sore thumb.

Car volume at Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Volvo also decreased in February 2015. Big improvements at Volkswagen, Nissan, and Toyota helped push the car market forward.

2014 Toyota Corolla greyToyota also claimed the title of Canada’s best-selling car with the Corolla. This marks the second consecutive month in which the Honda Civic, Canada’s best-selling car in each of the last 17 years, failed to end a month as Canada’s top-selling car. Corolla volume increased by two units. Civic sales tumbled 15%. The Elantra, January’s leader, plunged 34%.

If cars struggled to make significant gains, MPVs grew just 2%, and SUV/crossover growth completely ground to a halt, how did the Canadian new vehicle market experience its highest-volume February since 2008?

Trucks.

Pickup trucks.

February pickup truck sales jumped 12%, a gain of nearly 2300 units compared with February 2015. That’s akin to adding the volume of seven more versions of the seven lowest-volume pickup trucks in Canada: Tundra, Tacoma, Colorado, Canyon, Titan, Frontier, and Ridgeline.

In spite of a marginal F-Series improvement – the best seller was up just 1% – big gains from General Motors’ full-size twins, a 6% Ram increase, and 648 new GM midsize sales powered the truck market to 20% market share in the industry. Wasn’t cheaper oil and a struggling oil patch supposed to slow the Canadian truck market?

Hugely successful pickup trucks are certainly helpful, but they’re not yet an absolutely vital component for an automobile manufacturer to be taken seriously in Canada. Nissan is booming despite tumbling truck sales and just outsold Honda for the first time since June 2011. The Volkswagen brand is up 19% so far this year, certainly not because of an Amarok but rather a new Golf.

But consider the top three manufacturers in Canada without trucks. FCA, with its pickup truck lineup, was up 1.5% in the first two months of 2015, but without the Ram P/U, FCA volume slid 0.1%. The F-Series accounts for 53% of FoMoCo sales in Canada, not just Ford brand sales but total Ford/Lincoln volume. Four pickup truck nameplates helped GM to a 6% increase over the last two months even as non-truck GM sales slid 10%.

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

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8 Comments on “Canada Auto Sales Recap: February 2015...”


  • avatar

    MOPAR owns Canada.

    Jeep Cherokee AWD V6
    Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD V6
    Chrysler 200 AWD V6
    Dodge Charger AWD V6
    Chrysler 300 AWD V6

    Notice anything they share in common?

    MOPAR or NO CAR

  • avatar
    deanst

    Nice list, but irrelevant to Canada. Two-thirds of Canadian sales are pickups, minivans plus Journey. Nobody buys V6 AWD cars, and while the Cherokee sells in decent numbers I suspect the vast majority are 4 cylinders. Grand Cherokee sales are little more than a rounding error.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The majority of the Canadian population lives withing 100 km of the USA border so it is interesting to see how our trends are different than the USA.
    Small cars are popular since we tend to live in larger centres.

    FCA sells a ton of minivans because they are cheap and deeply discounted.

    MOPAR owns Canada….. really??? Marchionne does have Canadian citizenship.

    “Notice anything they share in common?”

    Deep discounts…..

    Bottom of JD Power Durability stats…..

    Poor Consumer Report reviews…..

    I rarely ever see FCA Ram 1500’s as work trucks…

    I see large numbers of Ram HD Cummins trucks. I’m not sure what the sales stats are on manual transmission Ram HD’s but I’ve encountered quite a few guys who buy them just for that reason. My brother always ordered Ram gasser HD’s until they stopped offering the manual.

    Our local FCA dealer really pushes discounts and internal financing. The local repo lots were always full of their stuff.

  • avatar
    ect

    I have to believe that February will turn out to be an anomalous month.

    From Ontario east, it was extremely cold and extremely snowy, which doesn’t encourage people to go car-shopping, and would skew sales to larger AWD/4WD products. For a good look at what was happening in the Atlantic provinces, take a gander at this:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/snow-what-snow#.nn7yNBBpy

  • avatar
    deanst

    i suspect FCA makes about 150% of its profit on pickups and jeeps (i.e. it losses money on everything else). If pickup sales follow the path of energy prices – because the guy working the drilling rig is laid off – then FCA will be hurt badly.

  • avatar

    Canadians have been migrating away from cars for several years now. Outside of major metro areas a crew cab pick up with a short box is the ideal family car.

    FCA sells vehicles the old fashioned way with deep discounts, and at least bi monthly sales events at dealers.

    Honda initiated 2015 on adaptive cruise control.

    A different perspective http://www.thestrada.net/thought-factory/2015/3/5/february-15-canadian-sales.html

  • avatar
    Reicher

    I live in Hamilton and the FCA dealers are quite popular but rarely do I see or hear of “Deep discount” ads.

  • avatar
    deanst

    You can go to the ram website now and see $10,500 off. Dealer ads go over $13,000 in discounts.

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