Which auto brands are gaining or losing Canadian market share as auto sales boom this year?
Land Rover - DOWN
As Land Rover’s Jaguar partner steals some sales with the new F-Pace SUV, Land Rover waits on the arrival of the new LR4-replacing Discovery and the Range Rover Velar to once again ignite sales. For the time being, Land Rover’s market share is sliding somewhat, from 0.55 percent in 2016’s first four months to 0.51 percent this year.
Infiniti - UP
Infiniti is surging south of the border and continues to report improved Canadian sales numbers, as well. Help from the new Mercedes-Benz-based Infiniti QX30 has been welcomed. Infiniti’s market share is essentially flat, year-over-year, rising from 0.61 percent in 2016 to 0.62 this year.
Cadillac - UP
Cadillac continues to struggle to make headway in its home U.S. market, but China is actually Cadillac’s largest market now. Canada buys more Cadillacs than any country besides the U.S. and China. With the new SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5 taking off, Cadillac sales are up 13 percent this year and the brand now owns 0.63 percent of the Canadian market, up very slightly from 0.57 percent a year ago.
Acura - DOWN
Acura’s struggles aren’t new. Once a brand that catered to young enthusiasts, Acura is now largely a crossover brand, supported by the MDX and RDX utility vehicles. That duo forms more than two-thirds of all Acura sales. Acura’s market share is down from 1.0 percent last year to just 0.9 percent in early 2017. Acura owned 1.5 percent of the market in 2004.
Buick - UP
GM Canada does not treat Buick particularly generously. The Cascada convertible doesn’t make it across the U.S. border; the upcoming Regal wagon won’t, either. GM killed the Verano, too, which was Buick’s top-selling model in Canada. But strong utility vehicle volume produced 5,836 sales in the first one-third of 2017, driving Buick’s market share up slightly from 0.92 percent in 2016’s first four months to 0.94 this year.
Chrysler - UP
Although Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is extinguishing the Chrysler 200, Chrysler’s best-selling product, from the small brand’s small lineup, sales are actually up this year compared with last because of the 200’s clear-out. Despite lower minivan sales from the Pacifica than the Town & Country, Chrysler market share is up to 1.0 percent in 2017 from 0.9 percent last year.
Mitsubishi - DOWN
In advance of the Mitsubishi Lancer’s departure from the lineup and the addition of the Eclipse Cross utility vehicle in Mitsubishi’s currently two-pronged crossover lineup, Mitsubishi’s Canadian sales are down 7 percent from 2016, when Mitsubishi sales nearly matched 2014’s record pace. Mitsubishi’s market share is down to 1.1 percent this year, a modest decline from 1.2 percent a year ago.
Lexus - UP
Lexus bettered its record annual sales in 2015 with record sales in 2016 and is set to break that record in 2017 thanks to big improvements from the SUV/crossover division. The Lexus RX and NX are jointly up 17 percent to 4977 units, representing two-thirds of Lexus volume. Lexus market share is up marginally from 1.1 percent in 2016 to 1.2 percent in 2017.
Audi - UP
Audi is quickly approaching BMW in the race to be Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling premium brand competitor. 2017 is on track to be the twelfth consecutive year of Canadian sales expansion for Audi, which boosted its share of the market to 1.7 percent in 2017. Audi owned 1.5 percent of the Canadian market in early 2016 but has since launched a new A4 and a new Q5. Audi’s market share a decade ago was just 0.5 percent.
BMW - DOWN
Though BMW sales are up marginally in early 2017, the brand isn’t quite keeping pace with the growth of the market overall. BMW sales are up just 1 percent, bolstered by a 16-percent uptick in SUV/crossover sales but let down by a 14-percent passenger car downturn. BMW’s market share is essentially flat, down by two-tenths of a percentage point to 1.86 percent in 2017’s first four months.
Volkswagen - DOWN
Still bearing the brunt of the post-diesel emissions crisis, Volkswagen sales declined in April 2017 for a twelfth consecutive month. Volkswagen is now selling only 4,000 vehicles per month in Canada, down from nearly 5,800 per month two years ago. Volkswagen’s market share now stands at 2.7 percent, down from 3.3 percent a year ago and 4.1 percent two years ago.
Subaru - UP
Subaru’s steady growth has resulted in a brand that, while only a few years ago a niche outlet, is now firmly entrenched in the mainstream. Credit goes to Subaru’s high-riding models: the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek produce nearly two-thirds of the brand’s sales. Subaru’s market share is up to 2.6 percent in 2017 from 2.4 percent in early 2016.
Mercedes-Benz - UP
Canada’s top-selling luxury auto brand produces Canada’s top-selling premium vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and earns 40 percent of its sales with SUVs/crossovers. Mercedes-Benz sales are booming, up 15 percent this year. Mercedes-Benz’s market share is up to 2.7 percent from 2.4 percent a year ago. A decade ago, Mercedes-Benz didn’t even own 1 percent of the Canadian auto industry.
Kia - DOWN
Kia’s Canadian sales have dipped in 2017 because of decreases from the majority of the brand’s models: Cadenza, K900, Optima, Rio, Soul, Rondo, Sedona, and Sorento. As a result, Kia’s Canadian market share has fallen from 3.6 percent at this stage of 2016 to 3.4 percent this year. Kia owned nearly 5 percent of the market in 2012.
Jeep - DOWN
Although SUVs and crossovers are key to the Canadian auto industry’s recent growth and Jeep is the best-selling SUV brand in Canada, Jeep sales are down sharply in early 2017. Blame the discontinuation of the Patriot, the transition to the new Compass, and the wait for a new Wrangler. Jeep’s market share is down to 3.5 percent in 2017’s first four months from 4.6 percent at this stage of 2016, the biggest drop of any automaker.
Mazda - UP
Despite steady growth in the size of the Canadian market, Mazda Canada sales have declined in five of the last ten years. But Mazda’s Canadian sales are on the rise in 2017, jumping 7 percent to 22,260 units thanks to a big crossover sales increase. The Mazda CX-5, smaller CX-3, and larger CX-9 account for slightly more than half of Mazda Canada’s volume, and they’ve driven Mazda’s market share up, marginally, from 3.5 percent last year to 3.6 percent in 2017.
Dodge - UP
Blessed by the best-selling minivan in Canada, the all-conquering Dodge Grand Caravan that’s posted a meaningful sales uptick this year, Dodge sales are up 9 percent in 2017 and the brand’s market share has risen to 4.6 percent from 4.3 percent in 2016. Dodge also sells Journeys in large numbers. Combined, the two vehicles account for eight in ten Dodge sales.
GMC - UP
GMC reported record all-time monthly Canadian sales of 9,367 units in April 2017. Through the first four months of 2017, GM has produced seven out of every ten GMC sales with pickup trucks, the Sierra and Canyon. GMC’s market share this year is up to 4.8 percent, half a point better than it was a year ago.
Ram - DOWN
A slight decrease in the market share of FCA’s top-selling brand occurred in the first four months of 2017 despite a modest increase in the brand’s overall sales. Ram is mainly a pickup truck brand: the 1500 and heavy duty trucks. But Ram’s commercial van sales are up 8 percent this year. Ram’s market share is down to 5.4 percent in 2017 from 5.5 last year.
Hyundai - DOWN
After rapid growth over much of the last two decades, Hyundai Canada has flatlined in recent years while Canadians turn toward SUVs/crossovers and Hyundai continues to operate as a car-centric brand. Hyundai sales are down 9 percent in Canada’s booming auto market, dragging the brand’s 2017 market share down to 6.3 percent from 7.0 percent last year.
Nissan - UP
Continual growth at Nissan, still largely powered by surging Nissan Rogue sales, produced 6.7 percent market share for Nissan in 2017’s first four months, up from 6.4 percent last year. Only half a decade ago, Nissan’s Canadian market share was barely more than 4 percent.
Chevrolet - UP
The surge in General Motors sales in early 2017 has largely been caused by a 14-percent year-over-year increase in sales at Chevrolet. Chevrolet market share is up to 8.5 percent in 2017 from 7.7 percent in 2016’s first four months, an upswing caused by rising pickup truck sales and big improvements from SUVs/crossovers and even a few cars.
Honda - UP
Record Honda Canada sales in calendar year 2016 will likely be topped in 2017. The Honda Civic and Honda CR-V are both surging, bringing Honda’s market share up to 8.7 percent in 2017’s first one-third from 7.9 percent during the same period last year.
Toyota - DOWN
As Canadian auto sales grow in 2017, Toyota Canada sales fall. The brand, including defunct Scion, is down 5 percent this year, a loss of more than 3,000 sales through four months. Blame belongs to the car branch, though declining pickup truck sales haven’t helped either. Toyota’s Canadian market share is down to 9.6 percent in 2017 from 10.4 percent in 2016’s first four months.
Ford – DOWN
Despite a modest year-over-year sales increase, Canada’s best-selling auto brand (and the main brand at Canada’s top-selling manufacturer) has lost a modest amount of market share. Ford’s growth, at just 1.5 percent compared with 2016, has produced a market share decline to 14.6 percent in 2017’s first four months, down from 14.8 percent a year ago. The Ford F-Series truck line, on its own, accounts for nearly 8 percent of all Canadian new vehicle sales.
Canadian auto sales reached record levels in 2016. Compared with 2016’s start, auto sales through the first one-third of 2017 are up a further 2.5 percent.
Despite a passenger car slowdown, falling minivan sales, and an April slowdown across much of the market, Canadian auto sales are on-pace for record annual results once again.
But not every automaker gets to join in on the fun. Some automakers are losing their share of the booming market; others own an even greater slice of the pie. Compared with early 2016, this is the direction each auto brand is moving in 2017.