After a one month break in which the Toyota Corolla temporarily took over as Canada’s best-selling car, the Honda Civic was once again the most popular car in Canada in May 2014.
In expanding its lead to the current second-ranked Corolla – not the normal Elantra number two – to 3346 units through five months, the Civic captured 8.4% of the declining Canadian passenger car market in May.
That’s up by more than a percentage point from May of last year, when the Civic was the second-best-selling car in Canada. However, last May’s leader, the Hyundai Elantra, suffered a 10% drop in May volume. In fact, the Hyundai car division was down 12% in May and is down 10% year-to-date as the Elantra takes a shallow dive and dealers wait for a new Sonata, a car that may not look new enough in comparison to a sixth-gen car that shocked consumers with its sleek exterior.
Meanwhile, Kia car sales are down 4% as the Forte fails to make up for its Elantra partner’s declines. The Optima was up 106% in May and moved up eight spots to 21st in these year-to-date rankings, but Kia hasn’t yet overcome a terrible start to the year for the brand’s midsize car.
Here’s the thing, these Korean car sales declines aren’t uncommon in the industry in 20214, and the fact that they’re mostly made up for by sales of crossovers isn’t unusual, either. Honda is something of an exception with its 8% car sales increase. But car sales at Acura, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Mazda, Mini, Scion, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo have decreased in 2014.
In what was a record month for new vehicle sales in Canada in May, car sales were down around 2%, and they accounted for just 43.5% of the industry’s volume, down from 47.1% in May 2013.
Don’t count cars out. They still account for more sales than any other vehicle category: pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers, or minivans. There is still a wider range of available car types than you’ll find in the SUV/crossover world; nearly twice as many nameplates. One fuel crisis could swing the market back toward compacts and subcompacts and hybrids faster than you can say, “Suez Canal.”
But right now, there are fewer Canadians buying cars than there were a year ago. Yet there are more Canadians – quite a lot more – buying and leasing Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas than there were a year ago.
There were exciting improvements introduced in October’s rankings of new car sales. Prior year figures now include the actual numbers from last year, not just the percentage increases/decreases from last year. As a result, we now include vehicles like the Volvo C30 and Volvo C70, nameplates which collected sales during the first five months of 2013 but not during the same period one year later. If you’re on a mobile device, you may need to choose the full version of the site (at the bottom of the page) in order to use the sortable function.
Reminder: these are 2014 year-to-date rankings, but you can sort cars by May volume by clicking the May 2014 column header, or you can rank cars by improvements or declines using the % columns. Or, most importantly, you can list automakers together by selecting the Car column header.
Source: Automakers & ANDC Red font indicates year-over-year declining sales * Italicized unranked lines are nothing more than available breakdowns, already included in the model’s total, not in addition to the model’s total. ^ Brand total includes sales of commercial vans. ¹ Chrysler has been marketing the Viper as an SRT, but we show it here with Dodge so when you click the Car column header, you will see the Viper with with like-branded products. In fact, FCA recently decided to cancel SRT as a brand unto its own. ² Total Prius Family sales: down 9.3% to 2925 YTD; down 3.2% to 889 in May. † Mini Cooper includes sales of the Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman. ‡ Total Genesis sales: up 5.4% to 1228 YTD; up 8.2% to 345 in May. ± Total Infiniti G/Q50/Q60 sales: up 55.1% to 1622 YTD; up 59.2% to 347 in May. ¤ Automakers release sales figures for the E-Class and CLS-Class together, S-Class and CL-Class together, RL and RLX together, Passat and CC together. º Audi’s A4 sales data includes sales of the Allroad. Sales data for brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce are unfortunately not broken down by model. estimates say sales for those brands during the first four months of 2014 were 17, 5, and 6, respectively. Total Maserati and Bentley volume is reported, but not by specific models. It is believed that Tesla sold 71 copies of their Model S back in April 2014, but Tesla doesn’t issue monthly sales reports. The estimate for Tesla May sales in Canada was 50 units.