Vehicle sales in Canada are up, sure, but it can't be all good news: here're the lowest-volume new vehicles in 2017’s first six months
#30: Cadillac CTS
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -19% to 293 – We knew the current Cadillac CTS was losing some of its potential for demand when the ATS arrived at the lower end of the Cadillac lineup. But then the CT6, essentially a CTS+, moved in to steal some of the CTS’s limelight. Now the CTS, which generated an average of 350 monthly sales when The Great Recession began, produces fewer than 50 sales per month.
#29: Porsche Panamera
– 2017 First-Half Sales: +126% to 292 – Don’t expect the Porsche Panamera, the price of which only barely qualifies it for entry on this list, to remain among Canada’s lowest-volume sub-$100,000 vehicles for long. Porsche only sold 33 Panameras in the first-quarter of 2017, but with the second-gen model taking over, 259 Panameras were sold in the last three months.
#28: Lexus GX
– 2017 First-Half Sales: +5% to 288 – SUVs and crossovers are everything at Toyota Canada’s Lexus division, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the brand’s sales. But most of those Lexus utility vehicle sales come from two of four models. The RX and NX produced 7,966 first-half sales in 2017; the Lexus GX and LX flagship only 894.
#27: Jaguar XF
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -9% to 282 – Despite its relative second-gen freshness, the Jaguar XF is very much the kind of Jaguar for which Canadians lack interest. It looks too much like a first-gen XF. Its styling, so similar to the entry-level XE, consequently lacks prestige. And most of all, it’s not an SUV. The new F-PACE outsells the Jaguar XF, XE, XJ, and F-Type combined.
#26: Volvo S60
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -39% to 242 – Out of the Volvo S60’s class come Canada’s top-selling luxury cars: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series. But the S60, now seven years old in second-gen form, is on track for only 400 sales in 2017. Mercedes-Benz sells more than 1,000 C-Classes per month.
#25: Lexus RC
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -3% to 239 – It’s a typical routine. A flashy new coupe generates a fair number of sales in the early stages and then tails off. Everyone who wanted a Lexus RC already got one. Lexus sold 792 RC coupes in 2015, its first full year, but is on track to sell around 500 in 2017
#24: Toyota Avalon
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -29% to 226 – Competing in a fast-dying segment that’s hugely reliant on fleet sales, the Toyota Avalon’s available retail market is tiny, especially in Canada. Even though U.S. sales are diminishing rapidly, as well, the nine-times-larger U.S. market buys 74 times more Toyota Avalons.
#23: Jaguar F-Type
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -30% to 222 – Don’t mix up F-Type and F-PACE. The Jaguar F-Type is the Indian-owned British brand’s four-year old sports car; the F-PACE is the one-year-old SUV. Predictably, F-Type sales are finally slowing after years of improvement. The F-PACE, meanwhile, sells roughly six copies per F-Type.
#22: Volvo S90
– 2017 First-Half Sales: 201 – If you want to see healthy sales numbers, don’t look to large, Swedish sedans. No matter how attractive, Volvo has limited potential for significant volume with its S90 sedan, nor did it with the S90’s S80 predecessor. Together, the S90 and its V90 wagon sibling generate one-in-ten Volvo Canada sales.
#21: Infiniti QX70
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -27% to 194 – A successor to the high-style Infiniti FX, the QX70 is a niche player in a tiny segment with the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz’s GLE Coupe. Too small inside to be truly practical, the QX70 emphasized design and dynamics. More than 2,300 FXs were sold in 2004, but the QX70 is on track for fewer than 400 sales in 2017.
#20: Audi TT
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -48% to 193 – All-new last year, the third-generation Audi TT produced 599 sales, the highest total for the TT in Canada since 2008. But as is the nature of style-centric two-doors, the early demand dried up, and Audi is on track to sell half that many TTs in 2017.
#19: Porsche 718 Boxster
– 2017 First-Half Sales: +27% to 185 – In reality, it would be more fair to combine sales of the 19th-ranked Porsche Boxster and 11th-ranked Porsche Cayman, both of which wear the 718 tag now and share a platform. Combined, they’re still among the lowest-volume cars in Canada, albeit barely. At the current pace, 2017 is set to be the Boxster’s best year since 2005.
#18: Lexus GS
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -14% to 181 – The Lexus GS wasn’t a popular car in Canada even when it was moderately successful. Overshadowed by the larger LS and more affordable ES, not to mention obvious candidates such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, the GS has only sold more than 500 units in Canada four times in the last decade. Lexus is on track to sell fewer than 400 GSs in 2017.
#17: Cadillac CT6
– 2017 First-Half Sales: +278% to 174 – It’s not the front-wheel-drive-based large sedan that Cadillac has been doing for decades, but the Cadillac CT6 – handsome and classy, to be sure – still looks like a big ol’ fashioned American luxury car. It isn’t, but with all that history, it was easy to predict true rarity for the CT6 in Canada. Monthly volume peaked at 62 units last November, but Cadillac is now selling only 29 CT6s per month.
#16: BMW 6-Series
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -38% to 169 – Losing the coupe variants on which the 6 Series was originally based in favour of the four-door Gran Coupe derivative, the BMW 6 Series isn’t about to become a best-seller at BMW Canada. BMW sedan buyers with big money are nearly twice as likely to choose the more obvious 7 Series.
#15: Genesis G80
– 2017 First-Half Sales: 162 – As the Hyundai Genesis sedan in a former life, Hyundai managed to produce nearly 1,300 annual sales between 2014 and 2016. Hyundai knows, with an all-new experimental sales model, to expect far fewer sales with the Genesis G80. But the numbers are still staggeringly small: Genesis likely won’t sell 350 G80s this year.
#14: Maserati Ghibli
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -11% to 159 – Responsible for expanding the range after the Quattroporte and GranTurismo catered to niche markets, the Maserati Ghibli did so, at least at first. But now that job belongs to the Levante SUV, which produces two-thirds of Maserati’s record Canadian sales.
#13: Jaguar XJ
– 2017 First-Half Sales: +24% to 154 – The longest-running current Jaguar nameplate, the Jaguar XJ is also the least popular Jaguar, not surprising given its place at the pricey top of the lineup. 2017 is still turning out to be an exceptional year for the XJ, by XJ standards. Jaguar has averaged 230 annual XJ sales over the last decade but could sell 400 in 2017.
#12: Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -22% to 131 – Formerly known as the SLK, the Mercedes-Benz SLC brought hardtop convertibles to the masses. Well, maybe not masses. But as recently as a decade ago, Mercedes-Benz was regularly selling more than 700 SLKs per year in Canada. Cracking the 200-unit mark will be difficult in 2017.
#11: Porsche 718 Cayman
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -47% to 102 – Part of a Porsche sports car lineup that now forms only one-in-five Porsche Canada sales, the Cayman is presently the least common model in Porsche’s lineup. Porsche hit record Cayman output in Canada last year, but 2017 sales are on track to fall to a five-year low.
#10: Audi A8
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -29% to 90 – With an all-new, already-revealed Audi A8 due for model year 2018, it’s not surprising to see Canadian sales of the current Audi A8 tumbling. Not that the A8 can tumble from lofty heights. Audi averages fewer than 300 annual A8 sales and only sold 216 in 2016.
#9: Kia Cadenza
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -43% to 64 – Join a fast-fading segment, a segment in which your Hyundai Azera partner no longer wishes to compete, with a new nameplate in 2013? Kia couldn’t have expected much, but it’s unlikely the company expected this little. The Kia Cadenza sold 195 copies in an abbreviated 2013, a paltry total in nine months. Fewer than 100 are likely to be sold in 2017.
#8: Genesis G90
– 2017 First-Half Sales: 56 – At the top of the current two-car Genesis lineup, the car formerly known as the Hyundai Equus is now known as the Genesis G90. As the Equus, Hyundai never sold more than 116 in a calendar year, and that hadn’t occurred since 2012. The G90 stands half a chance at reaching that low level in 2017.
#7: Infiniti Q70
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -53% to 47 – The Infiniti formerly known as the M wasn’t a hugely popular car in its segment when more than 1,000 copies were sold in 2005 and 2006. But sales in this category have traditionally declined at Infiniti. The Infiniti Q70 slid in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. 2017 sales are likely to fall 93-percent below that 2005 high.
#6: Lincoln MKT
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -26% to 42 – Canadian-built but largely forgotten in Ford Canada’s Lincoln showrooms, the Lincoln MKT will soon be overshadowed, literally and figuratively, by a new Lincoln Navigator. The majority of Lincolns sold in Canada are MK-branded crossovers, just not of the MKT variety. The MKX and MKC produce seven out of every ten Lincoln sales.
#5: Acura RLX
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -40% to 37 – Certain companies, maybe even most companies, don’t belong in a category with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. The market has spoken. Volvo, Infiniti, Acura: Canadians don’t want your midsize luxury cars. If you thought Acura RLX volume last year, when only 107 copies were sold, couldn’t get lower, the RLX showed its true unpopularity, generating only six Canadian sales per month in the first-half of 2017.
#4: Alfa Romeo 4C
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -27% to 36 – With the Alfa Romeo Stelvio about to go on sale, the Alfa Romeo brand has some modest potential for proper Canadian sales volume. The Giulia sedan is selling more copies each month: 30 in April, 54 in May, 77 in June. The Alfa 4C is a largely forgotten member of Canada’s sports car fleet, attracting only six buyers per month
#3: Lexus LS
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -40% to 33 – Set to be replaced for the 2018 model year by an all-new, lower-slung model, the Lexus LS likely won’t instantly turn on the popularity taps. Though often a leader among large luxury cars in the United States, Canadians historically turn to German sedans in this segment. Lexus sold an average of 230 LSs per year in Canada over the last decade, an average skewed by the 588 LSs sold in 2007.
#2: Fiat 500L
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -83% to 32 – Poor style, poor reliability results, and poor on-road behaviour led to poor sales of the Fiat 500L before the Fiat 500X arrived as a proper oddball alternative in the 500L’s segment. But after selling nearly 2,500 copies in 2014 – already a total deemed too low – Fiat might not sell 50 500Ls in Canada in 2017.
#1: Kia K900
– 2017 First-Half Sales: -71% to 4 – Did you think the Kia K900, a full-size luxury car with a bargain price from a Korean brand built on value, would be a popular car when it arrived in Canada in early 2014? Of course not. Only 89 have been sold so far. But you perhaps didn’t think the K900 could be this unpopular, either. Kia sold three K900s per month in 2015; fewer than one per month in 2017.
Year-over-year, compared with the first-half of 2016 — a record year for Canada’s auto industry — auto sales in Canada in 2017 are up 5 percent, a stunning turn of events that resulted in more than 1 million new vehicle sales in the first six months of this year.
But just because the industry continues to shoot for the sky doesn’t mean every new vehicle does so as well.
This list of Canada’s 30 lowest-volume new vehicles is limited to nameplates that have MSRPs below $100,000 and were on sale before 2017 began; they’re all also vehicles that have not yet been officially discontinued.
They’re here for different reasons, but sales reports declare, for one reason or another, that these are the 30 least common new vehicle acquisitions in Canada in 2017.