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Canadian new-vehicle sales dip slightly for third consecutive month

Here is information on new vehicle sales that was sent out last week by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

The fervour that accented the first two months of new vehicle sales in 2018 has melted along with the snow as May, 2018, brought about the third month of consecutive year-over-year decreases.

A total of 215,407 new light vehicles were sold in Canada in May, down 0.7 percent relative to the May 2017 total of 216,861 units sold.

Thanks to an abnormally strong January, Canada’s year to date total of 836,522 new vehicles sold is still holding at a hair above the previous year (835,582 units). That being said, the 940 unit gap currently in place will easily give way should the pattern of market declines continue into the summer months.

The newly introduced Genesis brand continues to see strong growth (up 125.8 per cent), albeit at low volumes, with the recent introduction of their G70 sedan starting to pick up speed.

Other manufacturers that enjoyed double digit growth in May included Volvo (up 41.0 per cent), Land Rover (up 28.7 per cent), Mitsubishi (up 20.1 per cent), smart (up 11.8 per cent), Volkswagen (up 11.4 per cent), and Mercedes-Benz (up 10.5 per cent).

Brands that reported double digit decreases last month included Maserati (down 31.4 per cent), Infiniti (down 15.6 per cent), and FCA (down 15.0 per cent).

From a volume perspective, while Ford (33,341 units) edged out GM (32,831 units) in the month of May, GM is currently tracking above Ford on a year-to-date basis. At this point in time last year, Ford was up just over 4,000 units YTD; now, GM has created an almost 3,000 unit surplus over Ford and is the top volume seller with a total of 127,299 units sold in 2018.

Here are edited reports received from some manufacturers:


Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. reported sales of 874 units in May 2018, totalling a year-to-date increase of 4 per cent and establishing a new monthly record. Macan witnessed its best month ever, achieving 408 units; 718 Cayman registered its best May to date with 50 sales


It was a record-setting month for Crosstrek with 1,532 units sold, up 94.9 per cent over the same month in 2017. It was the best-ever year-to-date sales through the first five months of the year, with 22,528 units sold. A new, all-time, regional record was set by Ontario.


FCA Canada reported sales of 28,193 vehicles, a 15 per cent decrease compared with the company’s highest monthly sales ever reported in May, 2017, of 33,186.

Jeep brand total sales increased 8 per cent in May, 2018. to 7,278. For the calendar year, Jeep brand sales of 35,678 are up 25 per cent. Jeep Compass sales of 1,594 rose 47 per cent from May 2017, setting an all-time record. Jeep Wrangler sales increased 25 per cent to 1,772, while Jeep Cherokee sales rose 73 per cent to 2,042.

Chrysler brand total sales declined 14 per cent to 1,606.

Dodge Durango sales of 917 vehicles were up 18 per cent compared with May, 2017, sales.  Dodge Challenger sales rose 26 per cent to 407 vehicles compared with the same month a year ago.

Ram pickup truck sales of 12,440 represent the second best sales month on record.

Alfa Romeo brand sales of 152 vehicles were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago. Stelvio led the brand with 90 sales followed by Giulia with 56.


Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) reported that hybrid vehicle sales were up 43.9% compared to May, 2017, its best month ever, with a total of 2,766 units sold.

TCI saw a 0.9 per cent increase in overall sales during the month of May with 24,113 units sold.  The Toyota division reported a total of 22,021 vehicles sold, up 1.9 per cent, and the Lexus luxury division sold 2,092 units, down 8.3 per cent compared to 2017.

Rising consumer demand for electrified vehicles helped bolster Toyota Prius sales by 115 per cent  compared to 2017, which included sales of 425 Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid Electric units. And Toyota’s popular RAV4 hybrid saw its best sales month ever with 795 units sold, up 36.1 per cent compared to last year.

With a growing demand from Canadian consumers, Toyota recently announced that the RAV4 hybrid will be manufactured on Canadian soil starting in 2019, expanding the existing RAV4 production in Ontario.


Jaguar Land Rover Canada reported that in May 2018, the company sold 1,200 units, the best May total ever, surpassing the previous record set in 2017 by 16 per cent.

“Another great month for the Land Rover brand, particularly Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which were up year-over-year 13 and 29 per cent respectively,” said Santino Pirillo, Vice-President, Sales, Jaguar Land Rover Canada, ULC.

“For the Jaguar brand, the PACE family leads the way with F-PACE again leading in units sold and E-PACE continuing to surpass expectations. We are looking forward to the electric I-PACE joining the lineup later this year.”

This was the best May ever for Land Rover. Retail sales totalled 847 units. This total was an improvement of 189 units, a 29 per cent YOY increase. Range Rover Sport led the way with 294 units sold, a 22 per cent increase. The Range Rover also performed well selling 116 units, up 16 per cent YOY.

For the month, Jaguar reported 353 units sold, its second best May. The Jaguar F-PACE had a solid month with 181 units sold and the new Jaguar E-PACE SUV sold 73 units.


GM Canada’s sales success continued with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers delivering 32,831 vehicles in May, marking the company’s best May results since 2008. This brings GM Canada’s year-to-date deliveries to 127,299 – the company’s best since 2008.


Kia Canada Inc. reported 7,286 total vehicles sold for the month of May, a 3.5 per cent decrease versus the same time period in 2017.  May’s results were led by Niro (316 units), Rio (564 units) and Sorento (1,776 units) representing 79.5, 58.4 and 17.3 per cent year-over-year increases respectively.


Honda Canada Inc. reported a record-setting May with sales of 21,698 Honda and Acura vehicles, up 3.4 percent from the previous year. The Honda Automobile Division reported best-ever May sales of 19,794 units sold, up 3.2 percent from the previous year, while the Acura Division reported May sales of 1,904 units, up 6 percent versus last year.


With 2,711 vehicles sold in the month of May, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. established a new record achieving its best monthly sales in its history. Vehicle sales also surpassed last year’s May record sales by 20 per cent. SUV sales increased by 59 per cent over last year for the month.

The popular Mitsubishi RVR compact crossover led Mitsubishi Motors’ SUV lineup with 784 vehicles sold last month, followed by the Outlander PHEV which established a new high-water mark with 590 deliveries.

Mitsubishi Outlander achieved 525 sales followed by 291 Eclipse Cross deliveries. The lancer family of sedans achieved 297 sales and Mirage subcompact and the Mirage G4 sold 221 vehicles in the month of May.