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2011 Porsche Cayenne (Porsche)
2011 Porsche Cayenne (Porsche)

Sales Trends

The auto industry's studs - and duds Add to ...

Porsche may not sell a lot of vehicles in Canada, but with sales up 43.6 per cent on the year, the German auto maker had a banner first half of 2011 – in terms of percentage gain year-over-year in sales, the best of any car company in Canada.

Yes, Porsche sold just 1,396 cars, SUVs and Panamera hatchbacks through the first six months of this year. But let’s not forget that 2010 was a banner year for Porsche Canada, therefore with sales up dramatically this year, no one should sniff at Porsche’s achievement. Moreover, new-vehicle sales in Canada were up just 2.7 per cent for the first six months; even a low-volume luxury brand deserves some credit when its sales are up some 20 times the market.

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So Porsche is a winner as we look back on the first half of 2011. Kia, too, with sales up 24.9 per cent through June 30. Not bad for a car company that was essentially dead and buried just a decade ago.

Speaking of which, consider Chrysler’s story since emerging from bankruptcy in the United States. Sales there are up 15 per cent on the year and at 120,903 through June 30. Chrysler is within sniffing distance of overtaking General Motors as Canada’s No. 2 auto maker by sales largely because GM’s sales this year are up only 1.0 per cent to 124,851.

Ford, meanwhile, appears to be solidifying its position as Canada’s No. 1 auto maker. Sales are up 5.7 per cent on the year, which means Ford is out-pacing the market and doing so after posting tremendous sales gains in 2010. With its market share at 17.4 per cent, Ford has a solid and growing chunk of Canada.

Another interesting sales race is shaping up between Hyundai and Toyota. Hyundai’s sales are up 10.5 per cent on the year (to 68,721), while Toyota’s are down 15.6 per cent (to 72,532). It is not inconceivable to imagine Hyundai overtaking Toyota to become Canada’s No. 4 auto maker and top import brand.

These are just some of the insights into Canada’s auto industry so far 2011. If the Detroit Three – Ford, GM, Chrysler – are doing well, with cumulative sales up 6.3 per cent, then the South Korean nameplates are doing better, with sales up 14.8 per cent. But doing best of all are the Europeans, with sales as a group up a whopping 17.3 per cent.

Want to know why the German economy is humming in Europe? Take a look at what German car companies are doing in Canada. Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all are boasting double-digit sales gains in Canada this year. Expect that trend to continue into the second half of 2011.

That leaves the Japanese.

“With the notable exceptions of Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru, nearly every high-volume Japanese OEM (including Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura and Mazda) posted double-digit sales declines for the first six months of 2011,” notes DesRosiers Automotive Consultants in a report to clients, adding, “Every single non-Japanese brand is doing better this year than last, and many are doing so with hot compact SUV, luxury compact SUV and intermediate SUV (read: crossover) products.”

Indeed, a massive story in Canada this year is the astounding success of light trucks.

“So popular are trucks, that Canada’s passenger car/light truck split moved to 44.9 per cent/55.1 per cent in the first half of 2011 versus 46.6 per cent/53.4 per cent during the same period in 2010.”

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Biggest sales gains (by percentage) January-June 2011

Auto maker

Percentage increase

Actual sales

Porsche

43.6

1,396

Kia

24.9

33,095

Audi

18.8

8,819

Volkswagen

17.7

26,942

Mini

16.9

2,440

Chrysler

15.0

120,903

Land Rover

13.0

1,433

BMW

11.5

14,454

Hyundai

10.5

68,721

Volvo

7.5

3,657

Biggest sales declines (by percentage) January-June 2011

Auto maker

Percentage decrease

Actual sales

Suzuki

-34.4

2,847

Acura

-19.8

6,456

Infiniti

-17.3

3,245

Toyota

-15.6

72,532

Mazda

-14.8

34,816

Lexus

-12.0

6,492

Honda

-10.2

52,271

Smart

-8.4

1,025

Jaguar

+1.0

400

General Motors

+1.0

124,851

Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

HOW THE BRANDS ARE DOING

The top 10 auto makers in Canada by sales, January-June 2011

Maker

Sales

Increase

Market share, 2011

Market share, 2010

Ford

140,311

5.7%

17.4%

16.9%

General Motors

124,851

1.0%

15.5%

15.7%

Chrysler

120,903

15.0%

15.0%

13.4%

Toyota

72,532

-15.6%

9.0%

10.9%

Hyundai

68,721

10.5%

8.5%

7.9%

Honda

52,271

-10.2%

6.5%

7.4%

Nissan

40,333

7.3%

5.0%

4.8%

Mazda

34,816

-14.8%

4.3%

5.2%

Kia

33,095

24.9%

4.1%

3.4%

Volkswagen

26,942

17.7%

3.3%

2.9%

Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

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