* See the Top 15 groups, Top 37 brands and Top 265 models by clicking on the title *
New light vehicle sales in Canada are now in unchartered territory after 6 consecutive record years and 9 consecutive year-on-year gains: they endure a 5th year-on-year decline in a row – something that had not happened yet this decade – the 7th drop in the past 9 months and, worse, the negative trend seems to be accelerating as July marks the largest year-on-year drop since October 2016 at -3.5% to 175.785 units. As a result and for the first time in 2018, the YTD tally is now down (gasp!) by 0.5% at 1.217.542. If this decline is maintained until the end of the year, 2018 would be the first year since 2010 that light vehicle sales drop year-on-year in Canada. According to local consultancy Desrosiers whose figures are slightly lower due to the absence of some luxury brands such as Tesla, exactly as in the neighbouring U.S. even light trucks are down this month at -1.1% to 122.299 but improve their share to 69.8% vs. 68% a year ago while passenger cars continue to freefall at -9% to 53.018 and 30.2% vs. 32% in July 2017. Year-to-date, light trucks are up 3.3% to 849.595 and 70.1% share vs 67.4% over the same period in 2017 and passenger cars are also down 9% to 362.399 and 29.9% share vs. 32.6%.
There are a lot of surprising moves in the July groups ranking: below the traditional leaders Ford Motor (+0.9%) and General Motors (-2.4%), Hyundai-Kia surges 9% to third place with 12.4% share vs. just 9.9% (-2.7%) so far in 2018, in complete opposite direction from its very difficult year in the U.S. Toyota Motor (-1.4%) is knocked down to 4th place but Honda Motor (-0.5%) leaps up two spots on June to #5, eclipsing FCA down an abysmal 33% year-on-year to #6, the group’s lowest ranking since we started following Canadian groups in September and to be compare with the outright pole position it held last January and February! Nissan Motor (+1.2%) is down to #7 ahead of the Volkswagen Group (-6.5%) while Daimler (-4.5%) and the BMW Group (-6.5% struggle).
Brand-wise, Ford (+1.5%) is the only one (well) above 10% share at 15.5%, distancing three declining marques: Toyota (-0.4%), Honda (-0.9%) and Chevrolet (-5.3%) with Honda snapping the #3 spot YTD off Chevrolet. Hyundai replicates its parent company’s gain at +9% in 5th place, overtaking Nissan (-1.8%) with Kia (+7.9%) and Mazda (+5.9%) the only two other Top 10 brands in positive. Just outside the Top 10, we have part of the explanation for FCA’s freefall in July: Jeep drops 37.1% and Ram falls 22.8%, marking the first year-on-year decline for Jeep this year (it was up 45.7% in February and 43.8% in March) but the fourth consecutive double-digit fall for Ram. Genesis (+145.5%), Volvo (+47.5%), Bentley (+38.5%), Chrysler (+38.2%), Tesla (+28.6%), Buick (+16.4%), Infiniti (+14.6%), Subaru (+13.2%), Alfa Romeo (+12.2%) and Mitsubishi (+11.6%) defy the challenging market conditions to deliver double-digit gains.
No surprise atop the models ranking: the Ford F-Series (-1%) remains by far the best-seller in the country, but the big news is only 4 nameplates in the July Top 15 manage to return a year-on-year gain. The Honda Civic (+8%) leaps up one spot on June to #2, overtaking the Ram Pickup (-23%) and the Honda CR-V (+20%) posts the largest gain in the Top 20 to consolidate its title of #1 SUV in Canada. That’s the only two uplifts in the Top 10. Then the Hyundai Tucson (+15%) and the Chevrolet Cruze (+8%) complete the list in the Top 15. Reversely, the Ford Escape (-15%), Jeep Cherokee (-13%) and Hyundai Elantra (-10%) are hit the hardest.
Further down, notice the VW Tiguan (+67%) ending the month just one sale off a Top 20 ranking, with the Ford Transit (+214%), VW Atlas (+98%), Buick Encore (+48%), Nissan Qashqai (+45%), Nissan Sentra (+43%), Kia Soul (+42%), Mercedes C-Class (+35%) and Mazda CX-3 (+27%) also very dynamic in the Top 50. The Hyundai Kona (#26) breaks its Canadian ranking record and is the only recent launch (<12 months) in the Top 50, followed by the Nissan Kicks at #55 (+30), Ford Ecosport at #64 (+7) and the Subaru Ascent landing directly at #100 for its very first appearance in the Canadian sales charts.
One year ago: Canada July 2017: General Motors helps market up 4.9%
Full July 2018 Top 15 groups, Top 37 brands and Top 265 models below.