EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of the sales chart that accompanies this report overestimated FCA’s total September sales. A more accurate estimate is now included.
Automakers on Tuesday painted a clearer and much more detailed picture of how Canada’s new-vehicle industry stands on a year-to-date basis as the Detroit Three automakers released their quarterly sales reports. But September totals remain an estimate.
Sales are now down 4.1 per cent to 1,508,103 vehicles through the first eight months of the year when compared with the same period in 2018, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.
General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stopped reporting sales on a monthly basis earlier this year, meaning industry monthly totals since June have essentially been estimates. Ford Canada on Monday said it, too, would change to quarterly reporting, following the lead of its U.S. parent.
The Detroit Three didn’t provide monthly breakdowns of brands or models, so September figures remain estimates. Automakers sold an estimated 167.548 vehicles in September — down four per cent — according to the data centre. Year-over-year, auto sales have declined for 19 consecutive months, according to data centre numbers.
The vast majority of automakers — save Tesla and a couple ultraluxury brands — continue to report on a monthly basis.
While mainstream brands were dragged down by a slumping sedan segment, nearly every luxury nameplate saw increases.
Some higher-end brands recording gains despite the overall declines, included a 21-per-cent climb for Lexus, a 12-per-cent gain for Volvo, and a 10.7-per-cent climb for Acura. Sales at BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Genesis and Lincoln also posted gains.
Jaguar, Cadillac and Infiniti were the only luxury losers last month.
Here’s a look at a how some of the companies fared in September:
Toyota Canada saw its sales slide three per cent after two consecutive months of double-digit growth.
The automaker sold 19,500 vehicles in September, down from the 20,187 it sold the same month a year ago.
Toyota brand sales were off six per cent with car sales down 11 per cent. The Prius — up 117 per cent to 930 units sold in September — was the only car to post a positive gain.
On the truck side, sales were down three per cent. The RAV4 remained the automaker’s top-selling vehicle, up nine per cent to 5,785 units sold. Sienna minivan sales were up 30 per cent to 1,112 units. But every other light truck saw their sales sink. Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales were down 31 and 34 per cent, respectively.
Lexus sales surged 21 per cent with the NX leading the way, up 41 per cent to 889 vehicles sold.
HYUNDIA, KIA UP
Hyundai brand sales were up 2.1 per cent to 11,918 vehicles while Kia brand sales spiked 15 per cent to 6,227 units. Last month’s Kia sales looked particularly good when compared with what was a very down month for the automaker a year ago, when it sold 5,401 vehicles. That was down 31 per cent from 2017.
HONDA HURT BY CAR SALES
Honda Canada’s September sales slipped 3.4 per cent to 16,723 vehicles compared with the same month last year.
Sagging car sales dragged total Honda brand numbers down five per cent, despite some vehicles posting triple-digit gains. Fit sales rose 232 per cent to 252 units; HR-V sales increased 149 per cent to 1,206 units; and Insight sales rose 153 per cent to 86 units. None of gains were enough to offset losses by the higher-volume Accord and Civic. Accord sales were down 23 per cent to 1,134 vehicles while Civic sales fell 13 per cent to 5,295 units. Odyssey sales fell 25 per cent to 719 units.
Sales of the luxury Acura line were up 11 per cent last month with MDX sales up 39 per cent to 599 while RDX sales rose eight per cent to 973 units.
GM DOWN ACROSS BOARD
Not a single General Motors brand posted a sales gain in September, according to Automotive News Data Center estimates, leaving the automaker’s total down an estimated eight per cent compared with the same month last year.
While the automaker reported third-quarter sales results Tuesday, it did not break the numbers down on a monthly basis.
GM Canada spokeswoman Kaitlin Keefer said the automaker doesn’t provide monthly totals “as we’ve moved to a quarterly sales report to align with our U.S. counterparts.”
GM Canada sold an estimated 23,622 vehicles in September, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.
Buick sales sank 14 per cent to 1,582 vehicles; Cadillac fell eight per cent to 897; Chevrolet was down six per cent to 13,268 units; and GMC was off nine per cent to 7,875 vehicles.
CARS A KILLER FOR NISSAN
Nissan Canada saw its sales plummet 14 per cent as consumers fled from cars, which saw sales drop 35 per cent.
Sentra sales sank 52 per cent, down to just 540 units. Leafs sales suffered a similar fate, down 55 per cent to 272 units. And Versa Note sales were down 68 per cent to 140 vehicles sold.
Truck sales were also down, falling six per cent to 8,498 units. Murano sales were off 27 per cent to 891 sold and Qashqai sales were down 28 per cent to 1,293 units.
The subcompact crossover Kicks was a bright spot, up 112 per cent to 1,602 units.