New vehicle sales report says Hyundai Elantra is most popular February purchase
DesRosiers Automotive Consultants have released the national and provincial sales reports of new passenger cars and light trucks purchased in February 2013. The top three are the Hyundai Elantra, the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3.
DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Hyundai repeated its chart-topping January performance with an excellent February follow up, sending the C-size Elantra (+5.4% year-over-over / 3,537 units) to the top of Canada’s sales charts for the second month in 2013.
Honda’s popular Civic also mirrored the trend established in January, with February 2013 sales dropping 16.0 percent below 2012 levels – an improvement on January’s -49.3 percent drop, but still a considerable decline considering the model’s strong sales history and same-year styling refresh.
The selling season has just begun, and the winter months are among the year’s slowest for new vehicle sales, but Hyundai’s early lead could presage some interesting late quarter tousles between in the ultra-competitive C-size segment.
Double digit year-over-year sales gains were also posted by the Toyota RAV4 (+59.6%), Volkswagen Jetta (+43.7%), GMC Sierra (+11.1%), Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (+10.6%) Ford F-Series (+10.4%) and Ford Fusion (+10.3%). With the exception of the Fusion and Jetta sedans, all of those double digit chart climbers were light trucks.
Indeed, at -2.6 percent last month relative to February 2012, the light truck market showed slightly less weakness than its passenger car counterpart (-4.2%).
The relative health of the light truck market has also buoyed sales of GM’s pickup twins, with outgoing versions of the GMC Sierra (+11.1%) and Chevrolet Silverado (+2.9%) charting gains prior to the redesigned 2014 model’s release.
Success of work vehicles like the GM pickups, Ford’s F-Series (+10.0% YTD) and Chrysler’s Ram Pickup (+15.7% YTD) helped grow sales of the primarily commercial segment by 11.8 percent on a year-to-date basis.
All other major segments have shown negative growth thus far during 2013.
On the provincial scale, new vehicle sales last month were weaker than same-month 2012 results in three of the country’s four major markets, with Ontario (-4.6%), Quebec (-7.9%) and British Columbia (-4.7%) all showing year-over-year declines.
Of provinces with monthly sales in excess of 10,000 units, only Alberta (+7.5%) grew in size last month.
Alberta wasn’t the only resource-based market showing gains in a month with significant softness in key segments and a 3.3 percent national sales decline.
Manitoba (+3.8 percent) and Newfoundland (+5.2%) also improved relative to February 2012. Sales growth in resource markets matches the bullish sales of primarily commercial vehicles noted in this month’s model-level sales results.
Year-to-date sales show a similarly negative outlook for the large Ontario and Quebec markets, down 6.5 and 6.6 respectively on the year. Highest-ever average consumer debt levels and a slowing real estate market contributed to slow vehicle sales in large provinces, smaller markets were not immune to the softness sweeping across the country.
New Brunswick (-11.3%), Prince Edward Island (-8.7%) and Nova Scotia (-4.6%) also showed sales weakness, while Saskatchewan (-0.6%) failed to match its Prairie neighbours’ sales rally.