Despite marginally exceeding 2017’s record sales pace with a 0.4-percent year-over-year uptick in the first four months of 2018, Canadian sales of passenger cars are down 10 percent. That sharp drop took the car sector’s share of the industry down to 29 percent in early 2018. At traditional Detroit brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, and Lincoln – passenger car sales actually tumbled 11 percent. Only 20% of the cars sold in Canada wear one of these Detroit badges. We take a look at the 25 highest-volume here, but in many cases, “high-volume” is a term that simply does not apply.
We take a look at the Canadian sales performance of Ford, GM, and FCA passenger cars in the first one-third of 2018
#25: Ford C-Max
#24: Buick Regal
#23: Cadillac CTS
#22: Cadillac XTS
#21: Lincoln Continental
#20: Buick LaCrosse
#19: Lincoln MKZ
#18: Chevrolet Corvette
#17: Ford Fiesta
#16: Ford Taurus
#15: Cadillac ATS
#14: Chevrolet Bolt
#13: Chevrolet Camaro
#12: Dodge Challenger
#11: Chevrolet Impala
#10: Chevrolet Spark
#9: Chevrolet Sonic
#8: Chrysler 300
#7: Chevrolet Volt
#6: Dodge Charger
#5: Ford Fusion
#4: Chevrolet Malibu
#3: Ford Mustang
#2: Ford Focus
#1: Chevrolet Cruze
- #25: Ford C-Max
- #24: Buick Regal
- #23: Cadillac CTS
- #22: Cadillac XTS
- #21: Lincoln...
- #20: Buick LaCrosse
- #19: Lincoln MKZ
- #18: Chevrolet...
- #17: Ford Fiesta
- #16: Ford Taurus
- #15: Cadillac ATS
- #14: Chevrolet Bolt
- #13: Chevrolet...
- #12: Dodge...
- #11: Chevrolet...
- #10: Chevrolet Spark
- #9: Chevrolet Sonic
- #8: Chrysler 300
- #7: Chevrolet Volt
- #6: Dodge Charger
- #5: Ford Fusion
- #4: Chevrolet Malibu
- #3: Ford Mustang
- #2: Ford Focus
- #1: Chevrolet Cruze
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -28% to 126 – Without the fuel economy of the Toyota Prius, the cargo flexibility its shape promised, or the seven-seat versions sold across the pond, the Ford C-Max’s appeal was limited from the beginning. The end is nigh for the C-Max, which attracted roughly 6,000 Canadian owners since launching in 2012.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -50% to 133 – Arriving in the U.S. market with both five-door liftback and wagon variants, the new Buick Regal launches in Canada without the wagon. In an uncomfortable price bracket that places the Buick between mainstream midsize cars and more upmarket luxury-branded sedans, the Regal’s niche is narrow. Demand is and inevitably will be low.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -22% to 152 – Dynamically superior to many, most, or even all direct competitors, the Cadillac CTS’s appeal is nevertheless limited. Buyers have fled the segment, and those that remain don’t want sporting Cadillacs, which don’t cater to Cadillac traditionalists and don’t have enough sway to locate a new demographic.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -27% to 158 – Although not destined for replacement following the current model’s lifecycle, it’s still a wonder that the Cadillac XTS has hung on this long given the existence of the similarly-priced CTS and similarly-sized CT6. The XTS is far more reminiscent of Cadillac’s past. Unfortunately for the XTS, Cadillac cars of any era are roundly rejected in 2018.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -19% to 163 – Launched with some fanfare in late 2016, the MKS-replacing Lincoln Continental quickly became yet another forgotten American luxury car. Ford Canada hasn’t yet sold 1,000 Continentals. Year-over-year volume has decreased in five of the last six months.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -10% to 227 – Handsome and modernized for the 2017 model year, the third-generation Buick LaCrosse has barely managed to whisper its presence in the Canadian market. There appears to be no future for the full-size sedan in general, and the LaCrosse’s premium pricing and Buick’s pro-SUV marketing position suggest that the LaCrosse’s lack of a future coincides with a lack of meaning in the present, as well.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -14% to 269 – As Ford prepares to let the Fusion die a slow death, the Lincoln MKZ that uses the Fusion as a platform donor is unlikely to have a bright outlook, particularly with limited marketplace presence. In Canada, MKZ sales have fallen by nearly half since 2013.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -35% to 410 – The 35-percent year-over-year drop can’t be ignored, but as we approach the spring/summer buying season, Canadian sales of a car like the Chevrolet Corvette could fluctuate. And even with a 35-percent drop, demand for the Corvette is very healthy by the standards of high-priced, two-door sports cars. Sales of the Corvette in 2017 were six times stronger than in 2013.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -18% to 489 – Already replaced in many global markets, the Ford Fiesta is an aged and forgotten member of the Canadian subcompact fleet. It’s also a car that will soon witness the end of its U.S. and Canadian voyage, as Ford gives up on many passenger car segments. The Fiesta may be the best-selling vehicle in some countries – the UK for example – but in Canada, the Hyundai Accent is more than five times more popular in early 2018.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +1% to 577 – There’s a new generation of the Ford Taurus on sale in China, but that’s a car that won’t make it across the Pacific. Even North American police agencies are progressively turning in greater numbers to the Explorer Police Interceptor, not the Taurus, as cops make the same decisions as mainstream consumers. It’s difficult to sell any full-size car these days, but a full-size car with a small back seat that’s been on sale since late 2009? No thanks.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -6% to 669 – It’s the best-selling Cadillac passenger car, but the ATS is a lot like the other cars in the lineup for GM’s premium brand: relatively inconsequential. GM Canada now produces 70 percent of its Cadillac sales with SUVs/crossovers. The XT5 outsells the ATS by a 2.6-to-1 margin.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +41% to 732 – Slowly but surely – well, at least slowly – Canadians are warming up to the idea of pure electric cars, especially in urban markets. Canadian sales of the Chevrolet Bolt are actually stronger, on a market share basis, than Bolt sales in the U.S. Priced from the mid-$40s, the Bolt has estimated range of 383 kilometres. Compared with 2017 Q1, when the Bolt launched, sales are up 41 percent this year.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -11% to 825 – In a Canadian muscle car segment absolutely dominated by the Ford Mustang, Canadian demand for the formerly Canadian-built Chevrolet Camaro is falling. In 2017, Camaro volume hit a six-year high, but year-over-year sales are shrinking in early 2018 as sales of the Camaro’s top competitor shoot forward.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -43% to 850 – In 2017, FCA Canada sold more Dodge Challengers than at any point since the nameplate returned in 2008: 3,422. In 2018, without a momentum swing, FCA Canada is on track to sell fewer than 2,000.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +1% to 1,107 – Like the Ford Taurus and the Buick LaCrosse and numerous other full-size sedans, the Chevrolet Impala’s future is clearly in doubt. Rewind a decade and GM was still selling around 15,000 Impalas per year in Canada. The latest generation tried to move upmarket in a quest for profitability, but with no demand for such a car at any price point, GM will struggle to sell 3,000 Impalas in Canada in 2018.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +17% to 1,204 – Canadian sales of the Chevrolet Spark nearly doubled between 2015 and 2017 as the second-generation version of the Chevrolet city car became much more refined and comfortable. Sales are still rising, and GM Canada may well end the year selling more Sparks than slightly larger Sonics.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -2% to 1,423 – Rumoured to be headed for a premature death along with the Chevrolet Impala (and perhaps other GM cars), the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic has met the same struggle that’s long afflicted Detroit small cars. Buyers in these categories prefer Japanese and Korean brands, and the Sonic’s fun-to-drive nature can’t change that.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +5% to 1,569 – At the current rate of growth, Canadian sales of the Chrysler 300 could climb to a five-year high in 2018. But don’t be fooled, because that’s a far cry from the totals this full-size Chrysler was managing when its Bentleyesque design attracted all kinds of attention in 2004. Chrysler sold 14,654 300s in Canada in 2004. In 2018, the Chrysler brand as a whole might not sell 10,000 vehicles.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +28% to 1,601 – Still generating more sales activity than its Chevrolet Bolt EV sibling, the partial EV Chevrolet Volt is more popular than ever in Canada. Sales nearly tripled between 2015 and 2017. At the current pace, Chevrolet could sell 5,500 Volts in 2018, up from 1,463 three years ago.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +36% to 2,077 – With fleet and police appeal, the Chrysler 300’s Dodge Charger sibling isn’t about to fade from view like many full-size sedans. FCA has also done a fair job of keeping the Charger in the forefront of the enthusiast’s mind with never-ending horsepower boosts. If Dodge can grow Charger sales like this all year long, 2018 could be the best year for Charger volume since 2008.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -19% to 2,094 – As recently as 2014, the Ford Fusion was Canada’s best-selling midsize car. The midsize car segment is shrinking, however, and the Fusion’s slice of that shrinking pie is shrinking, as well. Ford sold 5,427 Fusions in the first four months of 2014; only 2,094 so far this year.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -5% to 2,520 – For a brief spell, the Chevrolet Malibu was the new face in the Canadian midsize segment. But then in the second half of 2017 Toyota and Honda replaced the Camry and Accord. The Malibu simply doesn’t compete at that level, and now sales are falling. Malibu volume has declined in seven of the last eight months.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +28% to 2,993 – Refreshed for 2018, the Ford Mustang is hot. Forget everything you’ve heard about Ford killing cars, if only for a moment, because Ford is most definitely not killing the Mustang. In fact, the Mustang was Ford’s top-selling car in Canada in April. If this growth rate continues in 2018, this will be the best year for Mustang sales since 2005.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: +3% to 3,949 – Soon to be available in markets around the world, the new Ford Focus is reportedly not destined for the Canadian market, not even in Subaru Crosstrek-like Active form. Focus sales climbed to a high of 27,936 units in Canada in 2012. Last year, Ford sold only 11,937.
– April 2018 YTD Sales: -1% to 9,537 – Given Canada’s shift away from passenger cars, Detroit’s best-selling car, the Chevrolet Cruze, is on a relatively even keel. Demand is flat, year-over-year, as the Cruze has evidently been helped by an extra hatchback variant in second-gen form. Compared with Canada’s best-selling cars, the Cruze is ranked fourth overall, behind the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra.