Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canadian car sales: massive May for Toyota and Lexus

Total sales of the three Prius models from Toyota – regular, c and v – hit 1,212. Not bad for a hybrid family.


The bar in May was 17.9 per cent. That is, sales of new vehicles in Canada were up 17.9 per cent year-over-year, though industry sales in the U.S. exploded to the tune of 26 per cent, according to the Automotive News database.

Two points: Canada's new market lagged the sales south of the border; second, car companies in Canada above 17.9 per cent beat the market; those below lagged.

The market beaters:

Story continues below advertisement

  • Infiniti up 76.8 per cent
  • Toyota up 66.8 per cent
  • Acura up 52.6 per cent
  • Land Rover up 43.7 per cent
  • Lexus up 41.5 per cent
  • Honda up 37.5 per cent
  • Nissan up 33.9 per cent
  • MINI up 28 per cent
  • Ford up 27.1 per cent
  • Kia up 22.1 per cent
  • smart up 20.5 per cent

And the market laggers:

  • Mercedes-Benz down 6.2 per cent
  • Suzuki down 4.5 per cent
  • Volvo down 2.5 per cent
  • Jaguar flat at 0.0 per cent
  • Porsche up 0.6 per cent
  • General Motors up 1.3 per cent
  • Hyundai up 2.0 per cent
  • Volkswagen up 4.4 per cent
  • Mazda up 7.3 per cent
  • Chrysler/Fiat up 7.4 per cent
  • Mitsubishi up 7.8 per cent
  • Subaru up 8.8 per cent
  • BMW up 13.9 per cent
  • Audi up 16.9 per cent

Ford of Canada's gains allowed last year's No. 1 auto maker to sprint ahead of second-place Chrysler (32,329 in May versus Chrysler at 26,074 on the month), says Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, who compiled the numbers in a note to clients.

"Despite those gains – and in spite of respectable YTD (year-to-date) volume gains of 4.4 and 8.7 per cent, respectively – both companies saw their share of the market (YTD) hold or decline. Chrysler held onto its 15.2 per cent of the Canadian market while Ford declined six-tenths of a point to an even 16.0 per cent," said DesRosiers in a note.

The big Japanese auto companies surged, as the numbers show. This suggests an end to "last year's tsunami-triggered supply problems," said DesRosiers, who also pointed out an "uncharacteristic slump was experienced by Mercedes (-4.2 per cent), though the Stuttgart-based auto maker's overall 2012 YTD sales remain 9.0 per cent above last year's results."

As for actual products moving best among individual car companies, here's a look based on reporting from the manufacturers themselves.

BMW 5-Series sales were up 16 per cent compared to 2011. BMW Sports Activity Vehicles also enjoyed strong sales in May, with the X1 and X3 recording increases of 153 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Mini? Mini had its best month in its 10-year history: 708 units sold. So far this year, Mini has moved 2,321 units, up 30 per cent over the same period last year. It helps to have not just one model but six in the Mini family.

Story continues below advertisement

Mercedes-Benz may have had a relatively slow month, but at least some of this can be attributed to the fact that the 2013 B-Class is months away from going on sale and there has been no 2012 B. Mercedes says it was happy to sell 75 SLK-Class cars in May and another 71 SL-Class cars, too. Meanwhile, among trucks, M-Class and GL-Class sales were up 49.8 per cent and 19.5 per cent, respectively. And diesels! Among light trucks, 77.3 per cent of them were diesels. Heck, even smart sales were up 20.5 per cent.

At Subaru, sales of the 2012 Impreza were up 84.1 per cent. It's a winner.

Toyota? Well, total sales of the three Prius models – regular, c and v – hit 1,212. Not bad for a hybrid family; not bad at all. Yaris hatch sales were up 94 per cent; Camry and Camry Hybrid sales were up 126.6 per cent; Corolla sales up 56 per cent; Matrix sales up 64.4 per cent; RAV4 sales up 102 per cent, and Tacoma sales up 94.3 per cent.

On the Lexus side, GS series sales (including hybrid) were up 520 per cent; CT 200h sales 124 per cent; IS series sales up 53.7 per cent; RX/RXh sales up 34.7 per cent. Across the board, Toyota and Lexus had massive months.

Over at Honda the CR-V was up 43 per cent and the Pilot up 51 per cent. Honda's Acura luxury division said the RDX was up 176 per cent.

Nissan Canada has been running with an employee pricing promotion, among others, and it is clearly working. The Nissan JUKE jumped 222.7 per cent over last May and the Altima was the top seller in the Nissan line (1,907 sold) with sales up 44.2 per cent. Maxima and Murano jumped 65.0 and 56.8 per cent, respectively.

Story continues below advertisement

At Infiniti, the QX56 was up 44.4 per cent in May while the new JX was the overall top Infiniti seller with nearly 400 sold.

At Kia, the all-new subcompact Rio line saw sales surge 106.8 per cent.

Ford's Edge was up 109 per cent last month and while that's impressive, there were others big sellers, too: Fiesta up 18 per cent; Focus up 31 per cent; Mustang up 45 per cent; Taurus up 339 per cent, and F-Series up 46 per cent. At Lincoln, MKX sales surged 61 per cent, while the Navigator jumped 66 per cent.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨