New-vehicle sales in Canada on near-record pace

Ford is the number-one seller through June, but Honda and Toyota regain form

Published: July 11, 2012, 10:30 AM
Updated: July 9, 2020, 6:23 PM

Ford F-150

New-vehicle sales in Canada have been on a tear since the year began and they're showing no sign of letting up. At the mid-year point, 864,911 new vehicles have been sold – 7.1% more than at this point last year and 6.5 percent ahead of average for the past five years.

That result makes this first half the best for sales since the market collapsed in the latter half of 2008.

June's sales of 169,459 new vehicles in Canada were up just 2.8% from the same month last year. But that figure understates the sales momentum in the current market, because last June was itself a very strong month, with a SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) of about 1.63 million – the highest all last year.

A more realistic comparison puts this June's sales 7.7% ahead of their five-year average. The SAAR for the month was above 1.7 million (per DesRosiers Automotive Consultants) – the fourth month out of six to reach that range, and bordering on all-time record territory (1.72 million in 2002).

While Chrysler topped the Canadian sales charts for the first four months of the year,

Ford has outsold all other automakers for the past two months, regaining first place for the year-to-date, now well clear of Chrysler.

Ford's sales at mid-year are up 1.3 percent from the same period last year and 16.1 percent from their five-year average – but the company has lost 0.94 percent of market share from this time last year.

Chrysler (+0.5% for the month and 7.1% YTD) held onto second place, now far ahead of General Motors (-18.0% for the month and -6.2% YTD). Chrysler's market share is exactly what it was a year ago but GM has lost 1.91% of share.

Solidly in fourth-place Toyota (+68.2% for the month and 25.5 % YTD) is currently the hottest brand in the market, having regained 1.54 percent in market share from this point last year, although it hasn't improved its position from last month

Honda (+42.6% for the month and 25.5 % YTD) also made a big move, but remains behind Hyundai (+2.4% and 4.3%), which is firmly ensconced in fourth place.

In spite of their huge improvements from last year, when supplies were restricted by the disaster in Japan, both Honda's and Toyota's year-to-date sales are still behind their five-year averages – by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.

Most brands showed year-over-year improvements in June, with many achieving best-ever results. The exceptions, in addition to GM (-18.0%), were BMW (-6.4%),Jaguar (-15.5%) and Volvo (-22.8%).

The biggest gainers for the month, in addition Toyota (+68.2%) and Honda (+42.6%), were Lexus (+48.4%), Acura (+33.3%), Land Rover (+32.2%) and Infiniti (+24.5%).

Year-to-date import-brands claim 55.1% of all sales, compared to the traditional Detroit Three's 44.9%.