In a record year for Canadian auto sales volume, these were Canada’s top auto brands in 2017
#25: Land Rover
– 2017 Sales: +0.1% to 9,145 – The late-in-the-year launch of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar provided the necessary boost for Land Rover to post another year of growth, another year of record sales. With a new Discovery taking over from the LR4 and continued growth from the flagship Land Rover, the brand edged ahead of 2016’s pace by a five-unit margin in 2017, a transition year for Land Rover ahead of high expectations in 2018.
– 2017 Sales: +3% to 12,433 – Record sales at the Infiniti brand were produced in part by predictable SUV/crossover growth, but there was another major contributor. Rather than selling 406 Infiniti Q60 coupes as Nissan’s upmarket brand did in 2016, the new Infiniti Q60 produced 1,118 sales. Remove that substantial improvement and Infiniti sales would have fallen even with its modest utility vehicle increase.
– 2017 Sales: +10% to 13,330 – Cadillac is full of struggles in its home market, but north of the border GM’s premium brand produced a 10-percent year-over-year improvement to an all-time record of 13,330 sales. Credit Cadillac’s SUV lineup, as the brand’s car sales tumbled 10 percent. A huge Cadillac crossover increase — the XT5 is Cadillac’s top-selling model — was bolstered by a 3-percent uptick in overall Escalade sales.
– 2017 Sales: -17% to 13,364 – It’s a far cry from the 24,000 vehicles Chrysler two years ago, the 31,000 Chrysler sold a decade ago, or the 40,000 Chrysler sold in 2006. With the brand’s 200 midsize sedan dead and gone, Chrysler is left to wither on the vine with the 300 full-size sedan and Pacifica minivan. Sales are few and far between, and aren’t expected to become any more common with such a small lineup.
– 2017 Sales: -0.4% to 18,983 – Buick sales rose to a 10-year high in 2016 but fell ever so slightly below last year’s pace in 2017. Blame the rapid demise of Buick’s car division. While Buick’s crossover volume jumped 55 percent, Buick’s cars fell by nearly two thirds, including a 79-percent loss from the discontinued Verano.
– 2017 Sales: +0.4% to 20,300 – With a little help from the Acura TLX, revamped for 2018, and continued increases from Acura’s two highest-volume products – the RDX and MDX crossovers – Acura sales rose very slightly in 2017. Acura lacks the prestige of better-selling premium brands and doesn’t even offer all of the technology Honda offers on its mainstream tenth-gen Accord. Yet Acura continues to satisfy many fans, it’s Canada’s fifth-best-selling upmarket brand.
– 2017 Sales: +2% to 22,706 – Bettering its record 2014 by two units, 2017 was the highest-volume year on record for the now Nissan-run Mitsubishi brand. Growth in 2017 was accomplished by selling 15 percent more SUVs/crossovers than in 2016. The Outlander and RVR accounted for generated 63 percent of the brand’s volume in 2017, up from 56 percent a year ago.
– 2017 Sales: +10% to 24,765 – For a second consecutive year, undoing decades of consistent Acura leadership, Japan’s top-selling premium brand in Canada was Toyota’s upmarket Lexus brand. Don’t credit Lexus’ cars – they collectively fell 4 percent. But Lexus’ utility vehicles jumped 16 percent. The RX and NX are the brand’s top sellers, and they produced more than two-thirds of all Lexus sales.
– 2017 Sales: +18% to 36,007 – Surging to a record high of 36,007 sales and coming within reach of BMW for much of the year, Audi reported its 12th consecutive year of Canadian sales growth. It certainly helps to have a new version of the Audi Q5, Audi’s best seller and the top-selling premium utility vehicle in Canada. But it also helps to have a major uptick in car sales, especially given the degree to which Canadians are turning away from cars. Led by the A4, A3, and A5, Audi car sales jumped 24 percent in 2017.
– 2017 Sales: +1% to 38,562 – Though not growing at the rate of compatriots Audi and Mercedes-Benz, BMW did rise 1 percent to 38,562 units in 2017, a new record for the Munich brand. After difficulty with the 3 Series in recent years, the brand’s best seller reversed the downward trend with a 3-percent uptick in 2017. BMW’s utility vehicle volume, meanwhile, jumped 6 percent to 21,195 units, equal to 55 percent of the brand’s sales.
– 2017 Sales: +12% to 51,930 – With 6,474 Sprinter and Metris commercial van sales joining a record 45,456 sales of Mercedes-Benz’s cars and SUVs, Mercedes-Benz grew to an all-time high of 51,930 sales in 2017. Surging car sales, led by the C-Class which grew 9 percent, and surging SUV sales, led by the GLC which jumped 83 percent to 8,742 units, Mercedes-Benz is Canada’s top-selling premium brand. By a wide margin.
– 2017 Sales: +9% to 54,570 – Another year of record Subaru sales in 2017 was powered by continued growth of Subaru’s small car, the Impreza, and fast-rising sales of the second-generation Impreza-based Crosstrek. Combined, those cars and the WRX/STI that’s based on the last-gen Impreza, accounted for just under half of Subaru’s volume.
– 2017 Sales: +16% to 69,634 – It was time for a bounce back. Following Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal in 2015, Volkswagen sales tumbled 15 percent in 2016. 2017 volume, however, jumped very nearly all the way back to 2015 levels despite the continued plunge of Volkswagen’s former best seller, the Jetta. Golf sales are surging, and Volkswagen’s SUV/crossover volume jumped 63 percent. Passat and Beetle sales increased, as well.
– 2017 Sales: -15% to 70,342 – Canadian Jeep sales rose to a record high of more than 83,000 units in 2016. As SUV/crossover volume continued to expand in 2017, as total auto sales jumped to an all-time record, clearly Jeep sales would follow along, or even lead the way. Or not. Jeep’s transition year of 2017, with the outgoing Wrangler going out and a Patriot dying and a new Compass, sales at the Jeep brand dropped by nearly 13,000 units.
– 2017 Sales: +7% to 74,056 – After more than a few difficult years, Mazda Canada reported a seven-year high of more than 74,000 sales in 2017. In an anti-car market, rising car sales certainly helped: the 3, 6, and MX-5 Miata all reported improvements; so did the Mazda 5. But it was record sales of the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9, Mazda’s three utility vehicles, that made the real difference.
– 2017 Sales: -8% to 76,051 – Much as it may seem that Chrysler is the forgotten FCA brand, Dodge’s lineup has certainly not been kindly treated of late, either. There’s no midsize sedan; no compact, either. While Chrysler’s minivan was re-engineered, the Dodge Grand Caravan soldiers on, as does the Journey. Fortunately for Dodge dealers, the Challenger, Charger, and Durango all reported Canadian sales improvements in 2017.
– 2017 Sales: +7% to 76,504 – Although Kia Canada hasn’t returned to the lofty heights of 2012, when 77,800 Kias were sold, 2017 represented the biggest sign of a turnaround yet. While boosted by new products – Kia sold 1,590 Niros and 172 Stingers – Kia made big headway because of surging sales of its three best sellers: Forte, Sorento, and Sportage.
– 2017 Sales: +18% to 99,508 – Record GMC sales in 2017 were strengthened by new SUVs, the Acadia and Terrain, and also the brand’s two full-size SUVs. But most of all, the GMC Sierra that accounts for 62 percent of the brand’s sales was responsible for driving GMC forward. The Sierra climbed to an all-time high of 61,883 sales, tops among GM vehicles.
– 2017 Sales: +11% to 103,843 – It seemed odd when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decided to spin off Dodge’s Ram truck division. Yet eight years later, Ram is FCA Canada’s best-selling brand, 28,000 sales ahead of Dodge. 95 percent of the Rams sold in Canada are pickup trucks. Ram’s P/U lineup reported a record high of 98,465 units in 2017, pushing the Ram brand to an all-time high.
– 2017 Sales: -6% to 129,696 – After falling just shy of 2014’s record pace in 2016, Hyundai Canada sales fell to a six-year low in 2017. Hyundai’s SUV sales are rising, but only because of a big Tucson uptick – Santa Fe Sport and XL sales are falling. Meanwhile, Hyundai car sales tumbled 14 percent in 2017, an 11,190-unit drop.
– 2017 Sales: +10% to 134,244 – Among the many auto brands that reported all-time Canadian sales records in 2017 is Nissan, which broke its previous record of 122,059 units by more than 12,000 units. The Z, Versa, Armada, Frontier, Murano, NV, Nv200, Pathfinder, Rogue, and Titan all reported improvements. Nissan also added 8,970 Qashqai sales.
– 2017 Sales: +13% to 171,005 – Sales at GM’s Bowtie brand rose to a decade high of 171,005 sales in 2017 thanks to surging pickup truck sales and improvements from the brand’s top-selling car, the Cruze, and the top-selling crossover, the Equinox. Combined, the Silverado, Equinox, and Cruze accounted for just under two-thirds of Chevrolet sales.
– 2017 Sales: +6% to 176,951 – An all-time Honda Canada sales record occurred in 217 because of continued Civic growth and surging SUV volume. The Civic finished its 20th consecutive year as Canada’s best-selling car. The CR-V, HR-V, and Pilot all reported all-time highs, combining for 73,497 sales.
– 2017 Sales: +2% to 199,782 – The year was 2008. The Great Recession took hold at the end of the year. But Canadians acquired 209,157 new Toyotas. 2017 was the best year for the Toyota brand in the nine years since, but matching 2008’s record will have to wait. Record RAV4 sales and rising Corolla volume propelled Toyota to nearly 200,000 sales in 2017, a figure helped by rising Prius, 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna sales, plus 4,321 new C-HR sales.
– 2017 Sales: +1% to 300,367 – 155,290 sales of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, a record not just for the F-Series but for any vehicle operating in Canada, drove Ford Canada to the brand’s ninth consecutive year as the top-selling auto brand. Elsewhere at the truck-reliant Ford brand, car sales tumbled by more than a fifth, but E-Series, Escape, Explorer, and Transit sales improved.
Canadian auto sales rose above 2 million vehicles in 2017, more than 20 percent of which were pickup trucks and fewer than a third of which were passenger cars. It was the best year ever for Canadian auto sales volume, a follow-up to best-ever years in each of the preceding four years.
But which auto brands lead the way? The six top auto brands accounted for 55 percent of all auto sales; the five top brands all sold more vehicles in 2017 than in 2016. In fact, 20 of the 25 top brands posted year-over-year improvements.