July Canada Car Sales Almost Back to Last Year's Levels
While the first half of the year was undeniably tough for automakers – and everyone else – the Canadian light vehicle market started to take a turn for the better. Some automakers posted near-record months and the overall sector one of the best months of July ever.
A 75 per cent drop year over year in April lead into just a 44 per cent drop in May, and about 15 percent in June, leading into a 4.9 per cent drop for July 2020 from July 2019. Or, to flip it in a more positive direction, sales climbed 147 per cent in May over April, 37 per cent in June, and 6.2 per cent in July, all according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
That puts the figure for July at an estimated 165,020 vehicles, good enough for seventh-best July ever for Canadian sales.
For some individual automakers, the sales increases were even more impressive. Though many have moved to quarterly data instead of monthly (some making the change during the pandemic), we have highlights and data from several manufacturers.
Kia Canada moved 8,300 units, its best-ever July, following a June month that was the company’s best month ever. Tops in sales was the Sorento crossover at 1,708 total, but the Forte and new Seltos followed closely at 1,648 and 1,349. Kia notes it started a new promotion in July that made the first three lease or first six finance payments (instead of a deferral) and that carries into August.
Hyundai Canada saw retail sales, that is sales to customers and not fleets, up 20.5 per cent from July 2019 to 2020, hitting 12,702. Total for the company was up 1.7 per cent with 13,272 sales.
“Retail sales are the primary driver of brand growth and profitability. Our strong sales performance and substantial market share increase this month prove that we’re the ones to watch,” said Ken Maisonville, director of national sales at Hyundai Canada. Hyundai said its even topping sales targets. Highlights include the Ioniq with sales up 47 per cent and outperforming the segment as well as the 2,915 units of the top-seller Kona, up 40 per cent and, Hyundai says, nearly double second-best-in-class.
Mazda reported 7,044 sales in July 2020, up 6.2 per cent from the same month in 2019, though it points out sales for the year are still down 24.4 per cent. Sales of the CX-5 were the brand’s highest, at 2,901 (up 5.4 per cent and its best July ever) and the all-new CX-30 crossover is firmly the company’s second-highest seller at 1,055. It looks to catch up with the Mazda3 later this year, which is down 49.7 per cent for the year and 24 per cent this month.
Volvo reported retail growth up 23 per cent year over year, and that helped it mark the company’s best month since 1999 for retail sales. Total Volvo sales of 1,012 in July marked impressive 11.8 per cent year over year growth, and were 22 per cent better than in June.
“This is a strong sign of recovery in an exceptionally challenging environment which we can attribute to the dedication of our Volvo customers, team and Retailers across the country,” said Volvo Cars Canada managing director Matt Girgis.
Subaru Canada posted it’s best July and third-best month of sales ever with 5,678 units. That marks an all-time best month for the brand in Quebec, and for the Outback, with a best ever July in Atlantic Canada and best July months for Ascent, Crosstrek, and Forester. The total put them 10.1 percent above July 2019, with the Ascent up 39 percent to 407. Top Subaru seller was the Crosstrek at 1,459.
While some of the sales rebound may be the result of pent-up demand finally making it to showroom floors, Canadian automakers were generally optimistic in their sales reports that as our general pandemic recovery continued, so would the return of Canada’s new vehicle sales.