Annual Canadian Minivan Sales: 2004-2014

Canadians are buying more minivans in 2014 than in the doldrums of 2013 - a record-setting year for the industry as a whole - but the trend continues to point to lackluster interest in these extraordinary family vehicles.

Minivan Sales In Canada - September 2014 YTD
All Vehicle Makes & Models Ranked By September 2014 YTD Canadian Sales

This interactive chart (hover over the line for more detail) shows nearly 185,000 minivan sales in calendar year 2004. It's unlikely more than 100,000 will be sold in 2014, which could still be the best minivan sales year since 2008. (A slower fourth-quarter could mean 2014 won't match up to 2012 in total minivan volume, or 2009's 99,241-unit pace.)

Canadians are, however, more interested in minivans than their American neighbours. 5.4% of the new vehicles sold in Canada this year have been MPVs, including two products (Chevrolet Orlando and Kia Rondo) which Americans can't buy. 

The U.S. market relies on minivans for just 3.4% of total auto sales. Even with the Orlando and Rondo excluded, sliding door vehicles still account for 4.7% of Canadian new vehicle volume. U.S. minivan sales are up 6% to 427,876 units in 2014.

2015 Chrysler 200S AWD Review - You Could Have Made Me Better

2015 Chrysler 200S AWD blue
I just spent a week with the all-new, all-wheel-drive 2015 Chrysler 200 S. It was one of Chrysler Canada’s press cars, priced at $38,815.

Yes, $38,815. And that’s not the top of the range. I know this because there are three conspicuous, dare I say ostentatious, blanked-out switches placed on the steering wheel, an owner’s most frequent touch point.

• Cabin layout

• Lots of power
• Big trunk
• Tasty styling
• You won't pay this much
• 9-speed isn't fully baked
• It's a very heavy car
• Rear seat isn't that big
• Interior mish-mash
• Major league price tag

The steering wheel is what you grasp for the duration of your 35-minute commute each morning after you’re done grasping a toothbrush, a spouse, a child, a bagel, and a set of keys. It’s an intimate connection, even private.

You don’t allow anybody else to hold your toothbrush, your bagel, your spouse, or your child first thing in the morning. Similarly, you don’t hand your keys off to a random acquaintance and say, “Yeah, take’er out for a rip.”

You know the stitching of the heated steering wheel’s leather. You know how to find the big cruise control buttons without looking. You and the steering wheel share secrets, like the location of volume controls on the back of the middle spoke. The Bluetooth hang-up button, well, it doth fall readily to thy hand.

Yet all the while, the steering wheel in this rather costly Chrysler 200 tells you, nay, it screams at you: “I could have been better! You could have made me better! Am I not worth it? Did you need to order an unfulfilled version of myself?” And all the while, you’re left to stare at three pieces of glaring evidence every single day. After dropping $38,815 on a Chrysler 200, you’re still $2350 shy of possessing a fully equipped Chrysler 200.

Oh, who are we kidding? You didn’t spend $38,815 on a new Chrysler 200.

American Honda's CR-Z Sales Fell To A 21-Month Low In September 2014

September 2014 was American Honda’s lowest-volume CR-Z sales month since December 2012.

248 CR-Zs were sold last month even as Honda dealers sat on sufficient inventory, at least by the standard of the CR-Z’s low desirability quotient, to sell more. According to Automotive News, Honda had a 79-day supply of CR-Zs at the beginning of the month, and of the 963 new CR-Zs is currently showing in its database, the vast majority were in stock during the month of September.

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - September 2014 YTD
• U.S. Car Sales Rankings By Model - September 2014 YTD

Through the first eight months of 2014, Honda was selling 337 CR-Zs per month. Honda sold 4550 CR-Zs in 2013, equal to 379 per month. Monthly volume peaked at 1819 units in April 2011. After 5249 CR-Zs were sold in the final five months of 2010, annual sales reached 11,330 units in 2011 and then plunged to 63% to 4192 units in 2012. 2013’s recovery, at less than 9%, was moderate.