My Neighborhood is #CivicNation, And It Isn't An Anomaly

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
my neighborhood is civicnation and it isnt an anomaly

We live on a small cul-de-sac with 19 other families. Until this past weekend, there were 33 vehicles parked in our street’s 20 driveways, not including the always different manufacturer-supplied press car parked in front of GCBC Towers.

But one family that already owned one Honda Civic just doubled the size of its fleet with another Civic, and in so doing also doubled the number of driveways on our 20-home street with two Honda Civics. This brought the total number of Honda Civics on our small cul-de-sac to nine, equal to a 26 percent share of the market.

Yes, it’s an extreme version of a typically Canadian story. Assembled in Honda Canada’s plant in Alliston, Ontario, the Civic is a long-running powerhouse, a reality intensified in our decidedly non-premium, working class community.

Meanwhile, the Honda Civic is climbing the leaderboard in the United States, as well.

Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, is by no means the target market for Cadillac Escalades; not exactly the ideal billboard advertising venue for a Lexus RX. After all, it’s a fishing community. Nowhere is there a wharf closer to the province’s capital city where lobster can be bought off the boat. We even have our own Chinese-owned lobster plant.

Built in 1918 by the U.S. Navy, Canadian Forces Base Shearwater has long been the economic driver in Eastern Passage. The community’s continued growth stems from being one of Halifax’s most affordable suburbs.

Moreover, while fuel prices aren’t as high as they were a few years ago, we’re still paying roughly $3.80/gallon for fuel (one Canadian dollar equals about USD $0.80 at the moment).

Fisheries. Military. Affordable housing. In other words, Eastern Passage isn’t positioned to be bastion of automotive excess. American retirees who purchased one of the few detached waterfront homes own a Mercedes-Benz ML, which stands in contrast to the squadron of compact cars and Nissan Rogues and XLT-trim F-150s like a McLaren P1 convoy appears ostentatious midst a sea of 458 Italias and G63 AMGs in Beverly Hills.

Our Eastern Passage cul-de-sac, then, does not perfectly represent the Canadian automotive landscape. Nor is the cul-de-sac on which TTAC’s managing editor lives in another area of the city, where there are three Honda Civics in nine driveways, an exact microcosm of the overall Canadian automotive picture. Our eight local import-brand dealers produce only one-third of their volume from light trucks, for example, although the same brands generate just under half of their collective Canadian volume from light trucks.

Even without the startling market share tallies attributed to the Honda Civic on our 20-home cul-de-sac in Eastern Passage, Honda Canada’s nationwide Civic performance is increasingly dominant.

For an 11th consecutive year, the Civic was Canada’s top-selling car in 2008, a streak which will undoubtedly stretch to 19 years in 2016. That year, when Honda set its all-time Canadian Civic sales record, 8.2 percent of the new passenger cars sold in Canada were Civics. The new tenth-generation Civic, released for 2016, arrived as the Canadian car market took a thumping – SUVs and crossovers now outsell cars. Yet Civic sales are surging and the record-setting pace from 2008 is once again in sight. Through the first five months of 2016, the Honda Civic now owns 9.7 percent of the Canadian car market; 11.3 percent in May, when Civic sales shot above 8,000 units for the first time in more than five years.

Changes in the overall market are still abundantly visible. While the Civic’s passenger car market share expanded by nearly two points from its record-breaking 2008 to 2016, its share of the overall market has fallen by a full percentage point. Pickup truck sales are nearly 50-percent stronger now than they were eight years ago. Honda Canada alone sells more than 4,700 utility vehicles per month now; not quite 2,200 per month then.

Further clarifying the Civic’s Canadian dominance is the degree to which America’s long-time best-selling car manifests its lesser form of dominance south of the border. The Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car since 2002, presently produces less than 6 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s passenger car volume.

Combined, the Camry and America’s second-ranked car don’t garner as great a share of the U.S. car market as the Civic does on its own in Canada.

America’s new second-ranked car? The Honda Civic, sales of which topped the Camry’s during the month of April and have risen 22 percent through the first five months of 2016. American Honda is on track for 2016 to end as the Civic’s highest-volume year ever.

So where’s the street in Kansas or Kentucky where one-quarter of all vehicles are Civics?

[Image Source: © Stephanie Cain/The Truth About Cars, Honda, Bing]

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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2 of 35 comments
  • Maymar Maymar on Jun 22, 2016

    I used to life in a Toronto neighbourhood that almost inexplicably had dozens of Saabs - that was a delightfully strange phenomenon. In my condo, Mazda seems to be the most common choice (which might be confirmation bias or something similar on my behalf), but there are plenty of Civics as well.

  • BunkerMan BunkerMan on Jun 23, 2016

    Here in New Brunswick (next province over from Nova Scotia) the same is true. I work in an office with over 200 employees, most of whom drive to work. The most common car in our lot is by far the Civic. Second is the Corolla. It's not uncommon that my view from the cafeteria at break time is of 4 Civics parked in a row.

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  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?
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