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2012 Ford Fusion (Ford)
2012 Ford Fusion (Ford)

Driving at home

Canada's best-selling vehicles: Camry soars, Fusion gets ready for reinvention Add to ...

Here at the halfway point in the year, it’s no surprise to find the Ford F-Series pickup atop the sales charts. But Toyota Camry sales up 115.6 per cent on the year? Now that’s an attention-getter.

Only two midsize sedans rank among the Top 10 best-selling passenger cars in Canada, and the Camry is one of them. While Toyota’s four-door stalwart is being pushed with sales incentives, Toyota Canada isn’t emptying the piggy bank here. Toyota reinvented the Camry last year, and the makeover is obviously resonating with buyers.

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This brings us to Ford’s Fusion, which is the other midsizer in the top 10, as reported by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. An all-new Fusion is coming this fall as a 2013 model. To move out leftover 2012s, Ford of Canada has slapped on plenty of sales sweeteners – a $20,000 Fusion S can be had with as much as $3,000 in discounts, for instance.

Here’s a question: will the sharp-looking 2013 Fusion sell as well as the outgoing model? Will the new Fusion have the kind of marketplace magic Toyota is enjoying with the latest Camry? Ford certainly hopes so.

As for the F-Series, it is more than holding its own in the pitched pickup battle that been waged for two-plus years now.

“With a total of 52,501 units sold through the end of June, F-Series sales are up 12.2 per cent relative to 2011. Ford’s popular pickup truck also led all comers in monthly June sales, showing a year-over-year improvement of 2.4 per cent with 9,867 units sold last month,” says a client note from DesRosiers Automotive.

Chrysler remains a force in Canada, too.

“Chrysler had a positive showing with the second and third spots on both light truck and overall best-selling lists in June staked by the Ram pickup (+0.1%/6,160 units) and Dodge Caravan (+9.9%/6,103 units). The Ram has performed well all year, with YTD (year-to-date) sales up 16.0 per cent to 34,493 units,” says the client note.

Top 10 lists on both the car and light truck side contain few other surprises, though. Among compact cars, the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 are all pretty much where we’d expect them to be – holding the top four spots, respectively. As the chart below shows, the big gainers this year include the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Accent and Ford Focus.

DesRosiers Automotive does point to some interesting market shifts, noting that subcompact sales are up 23 per cent on the year and midsize cars are up 17.6 per cent. Compact cars, on the other hand, are up just 4.1 per cent, while overall new vehicle sales are up 7.1 per cent on the year. Passenger car sales are up 10.4 per cent, while light truck sales are up a more modest 4.4 per cent.

“Different trends are afoot among the light truck segments,” notes DesRosiers Automotive. “Despite individual product successes, volume segments such as large pickup (+6.7%) and compact sport utility (+3.0%) showed limited growth that failed to match the total market at the half-year point. Impressive gains were made in luxury segments like compact luxury sport utility (+35.2%) and large luxury sport utility (+40.1), explaining some of the softness seen in competing segments (i.e., luxury passenger car at +8.1%).”

Finally, when it comes to Detroit versus the Asian imports, the status quo remains in place. The Detroit Three, notes DesRosiers, have just three vehicles among the top 10 passenger cars (Cruze, Focus and Fusion), while Asian imports hold just three spots on the light truck list of best sellers (Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe).

Here’s a look at Canada’s top 10 cars and light trucks through June 2012:

Passenger Cars



Car

2012

2011

% gain/loss

1

Honda Civic32,15726,37121.9%

2

Hyundai Elantra25,58524,2835.4%

3

Toyota Corolla22,00118,85316.7%

4

Mazda320,22318,4469.6%

5

Chevrolet Cruze16,52018,769-12.0%

6

Ford Focus14,80612,65917.0%

7

Hyundai Accent13,52011,304-19.6%

8

Volkswagen Jetta12,38514,068-12.0%

9

Toyota Camry10,4384,842115.6%

10

Ford Fusion8,93910,153-12.0%


Light Trucks



Truck

2012

2011

% gain/loss

1

Ford F-Series52,50146,80712.2%

2

Ram pickup34,49329,747

16.0%

3

Dodge Caravan28,06629,986-6.4%

4

GMC Sierra22,12522,225-0.4%

5

Ford Escape19,05823,183-17.8%

6

Honda CR-V18,05412,426

45.3%

7

Chevrolet Silverado18,00219,233-6.4%

8

Dodge Journey14,59616,069-9.2%

9

Toyota RAV412,21911,3437.4%

10

Hyundai Santa Fe11,26912,883-12.5%

Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

jcato@globeandmail.com

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