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

2015 Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept
Counter to conventional thought, Canadian sales of small luxury crossovers are decreasing in 2014. March volume slid 4% after February sales fell 3%. First quarter sales were down 2%. 

Click Chart To Expand
If we subtract the BMW X3 from the equation, sales are actually up 10%. (The X3 was the class leader at this time last year.) But more than four in ten BMW SAV buyers are opting for the bigger, more costly X5 this year. 

Meanwhile, sales of the Land Rover LR2 and Range Rover Evoque are down as Land Rover sells more LR4s and Range Rover Sports. The Mercedes-Benz GLK is down 13%; Mercedes-Benz's bigger M-Class is up 26%. Sales of the Volvo XC60 are down slightly, as are sales of the XC70, but combined sales of the XC60, XC70, and new-to-Canada V60 are up 28%. 

Plenty of premium SUVs and crossovers are being sold, of course. The Audi Q5 is tied for the lead with the BMW 3-Series as Canada's top-selling premium brand vehicle. Land Rover's March volume was up 25% year-over-year, up 59% from March 2012, 149% compared with March 2011, and 195% from March 2010. (Their Discovery Vision Concept that was introduced in New York this week, pictured above, is a preview of the LR4's replacement.)

From the Acura MDX to the Porsche Cayenne, sales of luxury utility vehicles in the second table are up by more than 2000 units in 2014. 

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

2015 Acura TLX sedan
BMW Canada's 3-Series has taken a big hit this year, but the 3er remains Canada's favourite premium brand passenger car. Combined sales of the 3-Series and 4-Series (the latter was a 3-Series at this time last year) are down 19% in 2014. The 3-Series and Audi Q5 are tied for the lead as Canada's best-selling luxury auto brand products.

Canada luxury car sales chart March 2014
Click Chart To Expand
The 3-Series' closest challenger, however, is in a transition phase, and as Mercedes-Benz's W204 C-Class phases out and the W205 takes over, C-Class sales are down 18% in early 2014. 

Audi A4 sales are rising, but sales of its A5 coupe sibling are falling just a bit. The Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50 are stealing some market share, and Cadillac just reported the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year ATS improvement. 

Mercedes-Benz's C-Class is also being challenged at the low end by the new CLA. March was the highest-volume CLA sales month so far in Canada. It's been on sale since September. U.S. CLA sales have decreased in five consecutive months.

Honda Canada sold 13,002 Acura TLs and TSXs between 2011 and 2013. In the previous three years, they sold 17,926. (The U.S. decline was more dramatic.) TSX sales are down 26% in 2014; TL sales are rising slightly, but only from a terrible Q1 in 2013. TL sales are down 49% compared with the first quarter of 2012. They're both being replaced by the new TLX. 

Midsize SUV Sales In Canada - March 2014 YTD

2015 Nissan Murano
This won't be news to faithful followers of GoodCarBadCar: Canadians are buying fewer cars. But we're buying more new vehicles overall. 

So, if a customer doesn't end up in a Mazda 6, what did he buy? Well, probably a CX-5. But maybe a CX-9. He or she may have skipped over the Ford Fusion in favour of a Ford Explorer, avoided a Chrysler 300 and drove away in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, slipped into a Nissan Pathfinder rather than a Nissan Maxima. 

Canada midsize suv sales chart March 2014
Click Chart To Expand
Consider the Nissan example. They've produced the Canadian auto industry's greatest volume increases in the first quarter of 2014. Brand-wide sales are up by 4575 units through the first three months of the year, although the Altima, Cube, GT-R, Leaf, Maxima, Sentra, Versa, and Z are up by just 521 units and the company's two pickup trucks and three vans have added only 671 sales. 

The Rogue has played a big role in the brand's improvement, admittedly, but Pathfinder sales are up 58%, equal to 809 extra sales. 

Nissan has also shown a new Murano for MY2015 at the auto show in New York this week, a vehicle which should bear fruit next year.