Canadian new-vehicle sales were down 2.7 percent to 192,388 vehicles in April, marking the second consecutive month of decline, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
However, overall year-to-date sales are still at record levels, 0.5 percent ahead of last year’s sales through four months.
April’s sales also were still ahead of the five-year historical average for the month, coming in at 2.3 percent over that average, according to the Global Automakers of Canada.
Trucks continued to grow their presence, accounting for 70 percent of all new-vehicle sales in April, up from 66 percent a year ago, according to the GAC.
Once again the Ford F series and Honda Civic reprised their roles as the best-selling vehicle and passenger car respectively for April 2018.
The GAC’s president wondered if weather might have had to do with the overall drop in sales.
“The weather in April has been decidedly cool across most of the country -- perhaps delaying the traditional spring market a bit,” David Adams said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Scotiabank Economics warned of an upcoming downturn in sales. But the financial institution said it will primarily be caused by rising interest rates. The bank’s report projected annual sales of two million vehicles, down from last year’s 2.04 million but more than the 1.95 million sold in 2016.
Here’s a look at how some of the automakers did in April.
GMC only winner for GM
General Motors sales slipped 4.6 percent in April, with all but the automaker’s GMC brand posting sales declines.
Buick sales took the biggest hit, down 30.4 percent year over year. Cadillac sales fell 9.3 percent and Chevrolet sales dipped 6.3 percent. GMC sales were up 5.1 percent as all but the brand’s Sierra pickup posted gains. Sierra sales fell 1.7 percent to 5,947 units. But those losses were more than made up for by increased sales of its cousin, the Chevy Silverado, which saw sales increase 15.2 percent to 6,105 units.
Sales of the Chevy Cruze sedan and Canada-made Equinox utility vehicle plummeted 34 and 25.1 percent, respectively. Even the popular electric Bolt saw its sales dive 37.4 percent last month.
Nissan was one of the few automakers to post sales gains in April, with total sales up 7.4 percent to 12,198 vehicles year over year. It was the automaker’s best April on record.
The Nissan division set an April sales record with 11,457 units sold, an increase of 10.9 percent year-over-year. The Infiniti brand sold 741 vehicles.
The Nissan Rogue utility vehicle, Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in Canada, had its best April ever with 3,821 vehicles sold, up 8.7 percent year over year. The Nissan Qashqai compact utility vehicle held its position as the second best-selling model in the Nissan lineup with 1,451 vehicles sold.
But, sales of the Sentra, the automaker’s top-selling car, were down 23.6 percent to 1,013 units.
Total Infiniti sales were down 27.4 percent with only the QX70 and QX80 posting gains.
Ford falls despite trucks
Ford sales were down 1.2 percent even though the F series pickup continues to prove as popular as ever.
The F series had its second-best April on record with 14,166 units sold. Canadians bought more Ford F series super duty pickups than any prior month on record. Sales were up 18 percent.
Ford EcoSport sales increases for fifth consecutive month since launch.
Even the cars Ford said last month it would kill saw sales increases. Fusion sales were up three percent while the Taurus saw an increase of five percent. Focus sales were 18 percent; Ford said it and the Mustang will be the only cars to survive the new plan. Mustang sales were up 26 percent to 1,291 units.
Jeep can't save FCA
FCA Canada reported sales dropped 15.8 percent to 23,057 vehicles in April when compared to the same month last year. Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands suffered declines.
Jeep sales were up 5.2 percent to 6,186 units as the redesigned Compass continues its solid debut. The automaker sold 1,205 of the compact utility vehicle. Wrangler sales were up 54 percent to 2,073 units.
The decline in Chrysler sales — down 20.3 percent — was mainly due to the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 sedan and Town & Country minivan. Sales of the 300 and Pacifica were up 100 and 16 percent, respectively.
On the Dodge side, where sales were down 4.2 percent, Charger sales were up 30 percent to 799 units. But those sales couldn’t offset losses by the Journey (down 76 percent) and Challenger.
Ram suffered the biggest slide, with sales down 34.4 percent. Sales of the popular Ram pickup alone were down 35 percent.
Toyota sales were essentially flat in April, down just 0.3 percent as its total car sales, including Lexus, fell 10 percent.
When split, sales of Toyota brand cars were down 9.7 percent while Lexus car sales slid 20.5 percent. Lexus truck sales were also down 4.8 percent while Toyota truck sales gained 9.8 percent.
Overall, Lexus sales were down 9.2 percent.
One of the biggest gainers for Toyota was the Sienna minivan, which saw sales rise 30.6 percent to 1,647 units. When it came to cars, the Camry was the only one to see its sales increase, up 6.2 percent to 1,478. Corolla sales fell 15.6 percent to 4,930 units.
Hyundai off double digits
Total Hyundai sales, including the luxury brand Genesis, were down 13.7 percent in April.
The Genesis brand, while small in numbers, saw its sales increase to 137 units, up 291 percent from the 35 it sold a year ago.
But the Hyundai brand suffered a 14.4 percent loss.