November 2014 Sales: Volvo USA Is Tanking Before Dawn Of New XC90

2015 Volvo S60
We’re still a few months away from seeing the first new XC90s at Volvo dealers in North America and many more months away from discovering whether it can rescue the brand’s fortunes on this side of the Atlantic.

Like an overdue baby who doesn’t want to leave his mother’s womb for this cruel, cold, callous world, the XC90 must be planning to dig in its heels (or wheels?) as stevedores attempt to drive it off Swedish docks onto North America-bound ships. Surely Volvo’s newest three-row crossover can’t be looking forward to joining a family of progressively more disappointing vehicles.


U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
U.S. SUV Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD


Setting aside the fact that Volvo Canada didn’t sell a single S80 in November 2014 – that’s just plain embarrassing – the U.S. situation last month was especially poor. See, it’s not just the age of the outgoing XC90 that’s been bringing down Volvo sales. The brand’s other models, almost without exception, are selling at a far slower rate this year than last year even as the U.S. auto industry expands at a healthy 5.5% clip.

Small And Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In Canada - November 2014 YTD

The Audi Q5 is no longer Canada's best-selling luxury SUV. Both in November 2014 and through the first eleven months of 2014, the Q5 has been outsold. 

The Lexus RX now leads on year-to-date terms with 7343 units, 85 more than the Q5. The RX, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Acura RDX, and Acura MDX all outsold the Q5 in November 2014.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
• Canada SUV/Crossover Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD


Canada luxury SUV sales chart November 2014
Click Chart To Expand
But while Q5 sales slowed in November, Audi Canada more than made up for the deficit by reporting another month of improved Q3 sales. 

The smallest Audi crossover generated 366 sales last month, taking Audi's Q5/Q3 total up to 881 units in November 2014 from 687 in November 2013, a 28% year-over-year improvement. 

Meanwhile, BMW's selling more X1s even with the arrival of increased competition from the Q3 and Mercedes-Benz's GLA. X1 sales jumped 43% in November. 

BMW's bigger X3 is down year-to-date but jumped 30% to 461 November sales. The Mercedes-Benz GLK climbed beyond 600 units for the third time this year.

Small SUV Sales In Canada - November 2014 YTD

2015 Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V was a class leader, overall best-selling utility vehicle, and best-selling Honda in Canada in November 2014. CR-V sales jumped 56%, year-over-year, to a Ford Escape-besting 4461 units.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
• Canada SUV/Crossover Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD


Canada small SUV sales chart November 2014
Click Chart To Expand
Not since December of last year had the CR-V led Canada's SUV/crossover market. (It's the traditional favourite in the United States.) Through the first eleven months of 2014, the CR-V trails the second-ranked Toyota RAV4 by 934 units; the top-ranked Escape by 15,803. 

This category is more competitive in Canada than it is in the U.S., however, despite what the Escape may cause to appear otherwise. It also accounts for a larger percentage of Canadian sales than U.S. sales: 19% in Canada; 15% in the United States. 

Midsize SUV Sales In Canada - November 2014 YTD

Mazda Canada, traditional purveyor of low-volume three-row vehicles like the MPV and now the CX-9, sold 320 copies of the latter vehicle in November 2014. This was the best November ever for the CX-9. 2014 is set to go down as the CX-9's best year since 2008, if not 2007.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
• Canada SUV/Crossover Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD


Canada midsize SUV sales chart November 2014
Click Chart To Expand
320 sales would be a low total for a vehicle like the Ford Explorer, but for the CX-9, it was a momentous month. Hyundai's Santa Fe XL, widely regarded to be a class leader in the three-row crossover segment, only generated 256 November sales. 

Indeed, though Santa Fe XL sales are up 54% this year - it wasn't on sale in January and February last year – November was the nameplate's third-lowest full month since it arrived in March 2013. 

Small And Midsize Luxury Car Sales In Canada - November 2014 YTD

2015 Audi S3 sedan red
As the number of entry luxury car nameplates increases, so too does the volume generated by the overall entry luxury car segment. November sales of cars like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A3, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class jumped 20% in Canada. 

Lexus began selling the RC coupe last month as a partner to the IS and GS sedans. 41 of the 56 sold were RC350s, the other 15 were 467-horsepower, $80,800 F models.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD
• Canada Car Sales Rankings By Model - November 2014 YTD


No premium brand car sells as often as BMW's 3-Series. 894 copies were sold in November, good enough to make the 3-Series family Canada's 19th-best-selling car overall, just behind the Nissan Micra, Canada's most affordable new car.