Canadian new-vehicle sales were down 2.7 per cent to 192,388 vehicles in April, marking the second consecutive month of decline, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.
However, overall year-to-date sales are still at record levels, 0.5 per cent ahead of last year’s sales through four months.
April’s sales also were still ahead of the five-year historical average for the month, coming in at 2.3 per cent over that average, according to the Global Automakers of Canada.
Trucks continued to grow their presence, accounting for 70 per cent of all new-vehicle sales in April, up from 66 per cent a year ago, according to the GAC.
Once again the Ford F series and Honda Civic reprised their roles as the best-selling vehicle and passenger car respectively for April 2018.
The GAC’s president wondered if weather might have had to do with the overall drop in sales.
“The weather in April has been decidedly cool across most of the country – perhaps delaying the traditional spring market a bit,” David Adams said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Scotiabank Economics warned of an upcoming downturn in sales. But the financial institution said it will primarily be caused by rising interest rates. The bank’s report projected annual sales of two million vehicles, down from last year’s 2.04 million but more than the 1.95 million sold in 2016.
Here’s a look at how some of the automakers did in April.
GMC ONLY WINNER FOR GM
General Motors sales slipped 4.6 per cent in April, with all but the automaker’s GMC brand posting sales declines.
Buick sales took the biggest hit, down 30.4 per cent year over year. Cadillac sales fell 9.3 per cent and Chevrolet sales dipped 6.3 per cent. GMC sales were up 5.1 per cent as all but the brand’s Sierra pickup posted gains. Sierra sales fell 1.7 per cent to 5,947 units. But those losses were more than made up for by increased sales of its cousin, the Chevy Silverado, which saw sales increase 15.2 per cent to 6,105 units.
Sales of the Chevy Cruze sedan and Canada-made Equinox utility vehicle plummeted 34 and 25.1 per cent, respectively. Even the popular electric Bolt saw its sales dive 37.4 per cent last month.
Nissan was one of the few automakers to post sales gains in April, with total sales up 7.4 per cent to 12,198 vehicles year over year. It was the automaker’s best April on record.
The Nissan division set an April sales record with 11,457 units sold, an increase of 10.9 per cent year-over-year. The Infiniti brand sold 741 vehicles.
The Nissan Rogue utility vehicle, Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in Canada, had its best April ever with 3,821 vehicles sold, up 8.7 per cent year over year. The Nissan Qashqai compact utility vehicle held its position as the second best-selling model in the Nissan lineup with 1,451 vehicles sold.
But, sales of the Sentra, the automaker’s top-selling car, were down 23.6 per cent to 1,013 units.
Total Infiniti sales were down 27.4 per cent with only the QX70 and QX80 posting gains.
FORD DOWN DESPITE TRUCK SALES
Ford sales were down 1.2 per cent even though the F series pickup continues to prove as popular as ever.
The F series had its second-best April on record with 14,166 units sold. Canadians bought more Ford F series super duty pickups than any prior month on record. Sales were up 18 per cent.
Ford EcoSport sales increases for fifth consecutive month since launch.
Even the cars Ford said last month it would kill saw sales increases. Fusion sales were up three per cent while the Taurus saw an increase of five per cent. Focus sales were 18 per cent; Ford said it and the Mustang will be the only cars to survive the new plan. Mustang sales were up 26 per cent to 1,291 units.
JEEP CAN’T SAVE FCA
FCA Canada reported sales dropped 15.8 per cent to 23,057 vehicles in April when compared to the same month last year. Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands suffered declines.
Jeep sales were up 5.2 per cent to 6,186 units as the redesigned Compass continues its solid debut. The automaker sold 1,205 of the compact utility vehicle. Wrangler sales were up 54 per cent to 2,073 units.
The decline in Chrysler sales — down 20.3 per cent — was mainly due to the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 sedan and Town & Country minivan. Sales of the 300 and Pacifica were up 100 and 16 per cent, respectively.
On the Dodge side, where sales were down 4.2 per cent, Charger sales were up 30 per cent to 799 units. But those sales couldn’t offset losses by the Journey (down 76 per cent) and Challenger.
Ram suffered the biggest slide, with sales down 34.4 per cent. Sales of the popular Ram pickup alone were down 35 per cent.
TOYOTA SALES FLAT
Toyota sales were essentially flat in April, down just 0.3 per cent as its total car sales, including Lexus, fell 10 per cent.
When split, sales of Toyota brand cars were down 9.7 per cent while Lexus car sales slid 20.5 per cent. Lexus truck sales were also down 4.8 per cent while Toyota truck sales gained 9.8 per cent.
Overall, Lexus sales were down 9.2 per cent.
One of the biggest gainers for Toyota was the Sienna minivan, which saw sales rise 30.6 per cent to 1,647 units. When it came to cars, the Camry was the only one to see its sales increase, up 6.2 per cent to 1,478. Corolla sales fell 15.6 per cent to 4,930 units.
HYUNDAI DOWN DOUBLE DIGITS
Total Hyundai sales, including the luxury brand Genesis, were down 13.7 per cent in April.
The Genesis brand, while small in numbers, saw its sales increase to 137 units, up 291 per cent from the 35 it sold a year ago.
But the Hyundai brand suffered a 14.4 per cent loss.
This report and sales chart will be updated.