It took more than a decade but finally the previous high of 2002 has been eclipsed. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 2013 marked a new record for Canadian new car sales, as consumers purchased 1,743,112 new light vehicles in 2013.
It took more than a decade but finally the previous high of 2002 has been eclipsed. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 2013 marked a new record for Canadian new car sales, as consumers purchased 1,743,112 new light vehicles in 2013, after a soft landing to the year in December. December is always an unpredictable month as consumers and manufacturers rush toward year-end, and this year had the ice storm in the eastern half of the country layered on top of the usual volatility.
December sales came in at 113,036 units, 3.8 percent higher than a relatively weak benchmark from December 2012. Jaguar (+76.0%) and Nissan/Infiniti (+40.5%) both delivered sizzling results in December despite the freezing temperatures. BMW/MINI (+16.7%), Land Rover (+24.0%) and Porsche (24.6%) all contributed to the growing luxury vehicle market in Canada. Hyundai and Kia slowed to a disappointing finish for the year with sales decreasing 7.1 and 28.7 percent respectively. Volkswagen (+6%) achieved its best year in Canada, selling 62,688 vehicles in 2013. The Jetta accounted for almost half, with a total of 30,413 units. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac (+16.5%) delivered 17,036 vehicles in December 2013. GM sales were up nearly 4 per cent in Canada with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers delivering 234,944 vehicles. Most notably, the Cadillac enjoyed a 50 per cent increase in retail sales, establishing a new all-time Cadillac retail sales record.
Best selling vehicle: Ford 150
Sales of 122,325 units in 2013 smashed its own the record set in 2012. The F150 alone outsells other full-line nameplates including Kia, Mazda and Nissan. The evergreen F150 has benefitted from strong demand from its core market and from the excellent job Ford has done, after the demise of Ranger, in keeping small pickup intenders within the brand fold. Ford has created a wave of momentum that has lifted F-Series sales by over 54,000 units relative to 2008.
Best selling car: Honda Civic
After nervously looking over its shoulder at the Hyundai Elantra in the first 3 quarters of 2013, the Civic pulled away toward the end of the year to extend its run as the best selling car in Canada to an impressive 16th year.
Overall sales title: Ford
Ford held on to its position as the country’s top light vehicle retailer for the 4th year in a row. Ford sales totaled 283,451 units in 2013, giving it a lead of 24,891 units over second placed Chrysler.
Best selling passenger car brand: Hyundai
Hyundai held onto this title in 2013 with total car sales of 95,825 – a glimmer of light in what was otherwise a difficult year for the Korean brands.
Greatest percentage gain: Jaguar
After decades of drifting and struggles, the company led the field with a stunning 96.1% gain in 2013, albeit from a modest level of sales. Product drives the industry and Tata’s investment in new products for Jag has paid off handsomely.
Overall, 2013 goes down as the year of the truck. Total light truck sales hit 978,730 units, destroying the 915,880 total of 2012. Strength was seen across almost all truck segments. Of note, total pickup sales crossed the 300,000 unit barrier for the first time in 2013. The strength in the west, and the growth of personal use pickups have bolstered this segment although one of the big questions for 2014 is the outlook for this core pillar of the Canadian light vehicle market.