And now for a tale of two cars going in opposite directions.
Hyundai's Elantra compact continues to eke out small sales gains month after month in 2013, while sales of the Honda Civic have spent the last four months sliding in a downward direction. As a result, the Elantra leads the race for the title of Canada's best-selling car.
In April, Elantra sales were up 3.0 per cent year-on-year (5,535), while Civic sales were off 9.7 per cent to 5,424. On the year, Elantra sales are up 3.9 per cent, while Civic sales are down 17.6 per cent. Still, the Elantra's lead is a "scant 161 units on a year-to-date basis," says DesRosiers Automotive Consultants in a note to clients.
The Elantra is a solid small car, but its edge over the Civic may be in the fact that Hyundai offers a four-door hatchback version – the Elantra GT. Honda sells only coupe and sedan versions of the Civic. That's a big mistake. Canadians like hatchbacks, unlike Americans. It's odd, too, given that the Civic is assembled in Ontario. If Honda ever chooses to bring back a Civic hatchback, Canadians might chase the Civic in greater numbers.
The biggest Top 10 sale story in Canada, however, is Ford's big F-Series pickup. Ford of Canada sold 12,016 F-Series trucks in April. That was a massive 38.3 per cent jump from April 2012. Ford is jealously defending its pickup turf with aggressive pricing and with updates to the product itself. The F-Series faces stiff competition from an all-new Ram pickup, and the soon-to-go-on-sale 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups from General Motors.
Ah, the Ram. Ram sales in April were up nearly 31 per cent, notes DesRosiers, but the big surprise was the 17.7 per cent jump in Sierra sales. That put the GMC rig in third place among all light trucks. The Dodge Caravan minivan continued its slide, however; sales on the year were down 15.6 per cent. Sales of large pickups, by the way, were up 26.4 per cent in April and are up 15.4 per cent on the year.
April overall was a good month for sales of car and light trucks in Canada – up 8.9 per cent overall. Some of the big winners, reports DesRosiers in the note: Chevrolet Cruze (up 14.4 per cent), Volkswagen Jetta (up 17.4 per cent), Ford Fusion (up 20.8 per cent), Ford Escape (up 26.4 per cent), Honda CR-V (up 30.6 per cent), Chevrolet Silverado (up 10.0 per cent), Toyota RAV4 (up 36.1 per cent) and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (up 16.5 per cent).
Here's a look at Canada's top 10 cars and light trucks through the first third of 2013:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants