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Canada April 2020: Market down -74.6% to lowest monthly volume since 1951

11/05 update: Now with April data for 85 selected models.

According to local consultancy DesRosiers, Canadian new light vehicle sales drop -74.6% year-on-year in April to just 45.833 units vs. 180.616 in April 2019 as COVID-19 lockdowns kept most non-essential businesses closed throughout the month, including car showrooms in both Quebec and Ontario – representing 80% of the Canada volume – where even test drives aren’t allowed. This is the lowest monthly sales volume in Canada since 1951. The largest year-on-year drop of recent times was in February 2009 when sales fell -27.7%. Both this month and March (-48%) have fared worse. The year-to-date volume is now down -37.3% to 377.551, and we at BSCB currently forecast a 2020 volume down -32% to 1.38m units.

Canada has however likely seen the worst already, with Ontario reopening car dealerships from May 4 onwards. For the past year and a half, most carmakers have stopped reporting monthly U.S. and Canada sales, only doing so quarterly, and in these tumultuous circumstances it’s a very convenient way to avoid repeating bad news too often. Some brands still cling to some kind of transparency, among them Toyota Motor reporting April sales down -72.9%, Hyundai-Kia down -76.5%, Volvo down -75% and Subaru down -75.3%. Toyota says light truck sales are down -72% and cars down -84%. Brand-wise, again Toyota (-72.2%) fares best alongside Genesis (-72.8%) but Lexus (-77.9%), Kia (-77.2%) and Hyundai (-76.2%) all fall faster than the market.

The Seltos is already Kia’s best-selling vehicle in Canada.

Model-wise, the Toyota RAV4 (-77.1%), Corolla (-79.7%), Honda Civc (-82.4%), CR-V (-83.2%) and Hyundai Elantra (-80.9%) are the only ones above 750 sales for the month among our selection of 85 nameplates with official April data available. The Lexus LX (-9.9%), GX (-15.4%), Toyota Tundra (-43%), Highlander (-53.6%), Tacoma (-53.7%) and Sienna (-55.1%) are among the best holds, while the Kia Seltos shoots up to almost 500 deliveries to become the brand’s best-seller for only its 2nd month in market. The Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Venue and Palisade follow among recent launches.

Previous month: Canada March 2020: Market skids -48%, Q1 down -20.8%, GMC up 5%, full-size pickups monopolise Top 4

One year ago: Canada April 2019: Ram, Volkswagen go against 14th straight market decline

Full April 2020 data for selected groups, brands and models below.

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