March was a good month for the auto industry in Canada with most companies setting all-time sales records. Here is the news from the companies that sent reports to me.
FCA sales for march were up only slightly, but enough to help the company remain atop the pack as the best selling brand in the Canada. Retail sales actually dropped for the month but this was offset by increased fleet sales. The Dodge brand was up 27% with the Caravan leading the way, up 47% for the month while Jeep sales were off a similar amount. Chrysler was up 9%, Ram off 2%, Alfa up 73% and Fiat up 103%.
Ford’s performance in March presents a look at the industry as a whole – car sales were down almost 20%, while utility vehicle sales were up 19% and light trucks as whole (includes pickups) were up 3.4%. Expedition was up 96%, Explorer, 31%, Escape, 12%. Other bright spots were Transit van sales up 61%, C-Max sales up 48% and E-series vans, up 45%.
HONDA / ACURA
March sales 19,175 units set an all-time record fir Honda Canada, and an all-time monthly sales record as well. Honda sales were up 19% for the month and Acura enjoyed a 4% increase. With 8,145 sold in March, up 37% over last year, the Civic continued as Canada’s favourite car The CR-V was the company’s runner-up at 4,374 units for the month. The RDX was the top-selling Acura.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER
March was a record month for the British company as well with 2,115 units sold (746 Jaguars, 1,369 Land Rovers), a 34% increase over last year for the duo. The company set records for best combined month, best monthly Jaguar results, best monthly Land Rover results and surpassed 2,000 units for the first time.
Sales were up 13.5% in March for Nissan’s luxury division making it the best March on record. The refreshed QX60 was the top seller with 387 units sold followed by the Q50 at 249 units. The best-selling Nissan is the Rogue, which enjoyed a record month of 4,888 sales. The Sentra was next at 1,750, ollowed by the Murano, 1,281; Pathfinder, 1,185 and Altima, 1,056.
March was good for Mazda. The company sold 6,942 vehicles, a year-over-year increase of almost 15%. Sales for the first quarter are up 15.8% reversing a trend of sales declines. The Mazda3 was the best selling car in the line followed by the CX-5 and CX-3.
Mercedes enjoyed the best-ever March sales of 4,790 units, up 6.3 % from the same month last year. This brought the total for the first quarter of the year to 12,506 units, a 15.5% increase. Utility vehicle made the biggest contributions to the gain, up 16.3% with the GLC alone up 90.8% Passenger car sales were up 9.2% in March, with the C-Class coupe and sedan up 11.8% and 41.2% respectively.
March was the best of any month in Nissan’s history in Canada with 14,523 units sold, a 26.7% increase over last March.
Porsche was among those enjoying a best March ever, with 624 units sold. SAs has become industry practice, utility vehicles led the way. The best-selling Porsche in March was the Macan (331) followed by the Cayenne (183). The best-selling sports car was the 911 (50).
The company as a whole and Forester, Outback and WRX Sti all had a record month in March. A total of 4,652 units were sold in March as every region in the country enjoyed their own sales records.
TOYOTA / LEXUS
Sales were up 1.6% in March with Lexus enjoying its ninth consecutive monthly record. The made-in-Canada RAV4 and Corolla had a great month, up 7.4% and 31.5% respectively. Sales of the Canadian-made Lexus RX were up 12.7%. March records were set by: truck sales, RAV4m Highlander, 4Runner and Lexus NX.