Over­all sales are down com­pared with 2017, but will likely hit 2 mil­lion by the end of the year


Through the first nine months of 2018, Canada’s auto in­dus­try has re­ported huge sales fig­ures. Yet com­pared with a record-set­ting 2017, sales have de­creased through­out much of the year.

Canada’s five lead­ing ve­hi­cles are all sell­ing less of­ten this year than last. In fact, only two of the 10 most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cles in the coun­try — not co­in­ci­den­tally it’s the two best-sell­ing SUVs/crossovers — are pro­duc­ing more vol­ume in 2018 than they did in 2017.

Cana­dian con­sumers, busi­nesses, fleets, and gov­ern­ment agen­cies may still ac­quire more than two mil­lion ve­hi­cles in 2018 for just the sec­ond time in his­tory. But in an in­dus­try ad­dicted to growth pat­terns, the mild de­crease in de­mand en­coun­tered since March is cause for con­cern. High-gross­ing pickup trucks, which ac­count for four of the coun­try’s five top sell­ers, are de­clin­ing more rapidly than the in­dus­try as a whole.

10. Hyundai Elantra: 33,456, down 9%

The Hyundai Elantra is ob­jec­tively bet­ter than ever. But the years of track­ing closely be­hind the class-lead­ing Honda Civic have fallen by the way­side, per­haps be­cause cus­tomers re­al­ized the Hyundai didn’t stack up in terms of re­sale value, or maybe be­cause the lat­est Elantra didn’t turn out to be the stylis­tic trend­set­ter the fifth-gen­er­a­tion car was. Elantra sales will likely fall to an eight-year low in 2018.

9. Ford Es­cape: 34,928, down 6%

The third-gen­er­a­tion Ford Es­cape is dis­tinctly less pop­u­lar than it was a hand­ful of years ago when its reign as Canada’s best-sell­ing SUV was seem­ingly in­grained. Al­though in­ter­est in com­pact crossovers is on the rise, it’ll be a chal­lenge for the Es­cape to hit the 45,000-unit mark in 2018, which would be a six-year low.

8. Toy­ota Corolla: 37,900, down 9%

The Toy­ota Corolla has built up a global rep­u­ta­tion for dura­bil­ity, and that pays div­i­dends in sales. The Corolla has been a safe choice for years, and with an abun­dant sup­ply of ad­vanced ac­tive safety gear, it is now a safe choice in more ways than one.

7. Toy­ota RAV4: 41,023, up 3%

Canada’s SUV/cross­over leader in each of the past two years hasn’t tailed off in old age, the Toy­ota RAV4 sim­ply isn’t ex­pand­ing its net­work as rapidly as Honda’s fresher CR-V. The cur­rent RAV4, which will be re­placed over the next few months, first went on sale in early 2013. RAV4 vol­ume has grown 58% dur­ing the fourth-gen­er­a­tion RAV4’s ten­ure.

6. Honda CR-V: 42,748, up 13%

Not only is the Honda CR-V Canada’s most pop­u­lar util­ity ve­hi­cle, it’s also one of Canada’s fastest-grow­ing vol­ume name­plates and is largely re­spon­si­ble for Honda Canada’s nar­row over­all sales im­prove­ment in 2018’s first three quar­ters. Sales of the Cana­dian-built CR-V are on track for a record high of 57,000 sales this year as Honda adds more than 500 units per month com­pared with 2017.

5. Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado: 44,743, down 2%

Cana­dian sales of full-size pickup trucks are down 8% so far this year, yet Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado vol­ume isn’t fall­ing nearly as quickly as the over­all seg­ment. That’s helped GM’s over­all share of the Cana­dian full­size pickup truck sec­tor rise to 31% in 2018 while Ram’s slice of the pie shrank to 24%.

4. GMC Sierra: 44,950, down 7%

To­gether, the GMC Sierra and its slightly less com­mon Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado twin would eas­ily be Canada’s sec­ond-best-sell­ing ve­hi­cle line, but as sep­a­rate en­ti­ties, they still re­main pow­er­ful. As GM be­gins to launch next-gen full-size pickup trucks, deal­ers are fo­cus­ing on clear­ing out cur­rent-gen mod­els.

3. Honda Civic: 56,091, down 1%

This will likely be the 21st con­sec­u­tive year in which Honda’s Civic will be Canada’s best-sell­ing pas­sen­ger car. In a sec­tor that’s fallen by a tenth so far this year, the Civic’s mar­ginal vol­ume de­cline trans­lates to an in­crease in mar­ket share. In 2017’s first nine months, 11.1% of the new pas­sen­ger cars sold in Canada were Civics. This year, that fig­ure jumped a full per­cent­age point, no small feat for a car that al­ready held an un­heard-of por­tion of the mar­ket.

2. Ram:

68,120, down 16%

The sharp drop of sales of the Ram truck lineup through the first three quar­ters of 2018 equals a loss of 1,400 sales per month. This goes a long way in ex­plain­ing the sig­nif­i­cant sales de­cline at Ram’s par­ent com­pany this year. Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles’ vol­ume over­all is down 13% in Canada so far in 2018.

1. Ford F-Se­ries: 115,788, down 6%

We’re only six years re­moved from 2012, the first year in which Ford — or any other man­u­fac­turer in Canada, for that mat­ter — ever sold more than 100,000 units of any ve­hi­cle line in a sin­gle cal­en­dar year. Now, so strong have F-Se­ries sales been in the re­cent past, a year in which F-Se­ries sales are fall­ing still pro­duces 115,788 sales in just the first nine months of the year. And 2018 is likely to be the F-Se­ries’ 10th con­sec­u­tive year as the best-sell­ing ve­hi­cle in Canada.


2019 Ram 1500.


2018 Honda Civic.


2018 Ford F-150.

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