The Canadian light vehicle market had a March sales total nearly identical to that achieved in March 2012. That nearly identical total masks a number of market share shifts, however. Of note was Chryslers 7.0 percent gain, helping the Detroit-based manufacturer improve its total YTD market share to 16.3 percent (from 15.3% at this point in 2012).
The Canadian light vehicle market had a March sales total nearly identical to that achieved in March 2012. March 2012 was the best March on record, according to automotive consultants, DesRosiers.
Industry sales declined just 0.7 percent, with a very strong total of 156,680 units sold last month versus 157,749 sold one year earlier.
Ford (+1.7%) maintained its March position but continued to ride earlier Q1 gains, also gaining a point of market share (up to 16.2% from 15.2% last year).
General Motors’ (-10.9%) long term slide continued, with slower March sales contributing to a small loss of YTD market share (down to 13.5% YTD from 13.8% in 2012).
The uneven performance of the Japanese manufacturers in 2012 continued last month, with Honda/Acura (+5.5%) and Toyota/Lexus (-6.1%) seeing opposite results in the March marketplace.
Both high volume Japanese manufacturers finished the quarter with market share losses, Toyota/Lexus experiencing a more pronounced 0.9 point slide versus Honda’s 0.5 point YTD decline. Honda/Acura’s gains were isolated entirely to the Acura luxury brand, with mainline Honda models pacing last year’s March total almost directly.
Toyota/Lexus, on the other hand, saw similar volume reductions across both Toyota and Lexus brands.
Lower volume Japanese manufacturers Mazda (+4.8%) and Subaru (+11.7%) showed gains in March sales, Q1 totals and market share.
Korean powerhouses Hyundia (-4.7%) and Kia (-11.3%) both struggled to match impressive 2012 performances, and have lost market share over the quarter.
Luxury markets outperformed their mainstream counterparts by a considerable margin in March. European luxury players Audi (+3.2%), BMW/MINI (+8.9%), Land Rover (+26.6%), Mercedes-Benz/smart (+12.3%) and Porsche (+33.5%) gained sales and share in segments that continue to impress with steady growth. Luxury remains a small and highly regionalized – but profitable and influential – part of the market.
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