Driving By Numbers: 10 car brands that fared better in Canada at the start of 2022 than at the start of 2021

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While many brands are struggling with shortages, these 10 brands managed to top their Q1 2021 sales

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Canadians bought almost 50,000 fewer new vehicles in the first three months of 2022 than in the same period of 2021. But not by choice.

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The dramatic 12% decline in auto sales was not caused by a shortage of demand, but rather entirely due to the global shortage of inventory. Through their dealerships, automakers were still able to deliver nearly 340,000 new vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, but most often these were pre-ordered or pre-destined vehicles for individual buyers. Fallen from the truck; rolled down a driveway.

Yet in a market where strong automakers like General Motors lost nearly a quarter of its volume, a market in which Toyota fell 15% and Honda absorbed an 18% punch, a market that saw sales of the Canadian number 1 – the sale of the Ford F-Series plunges by 40%, there were positive points.

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  1. Driving by the numbers: Canada's 10 biggest losers in a tight supply market

    Driving by the numbers: Canada’s 10 biggest losers in a tight supply market

  2. Driving By Numbers: The 10 Best-Selling Vehicles in Canada in 2021

    Driving By Numbers: The 10 Best-Selling Vehicles in Canada in 2021

And some of those bright spots were flickering positively. The 10 fastest growing Canadian auto brands in the first three months of 2022 combined to add 9,000 ledger sales from 2021, even as the rest of the market faltered at the rate of a decline 18% worth 56,000 lost sales.

Simply put, these 10 brands were just able to build enough cars. (We’ve chosen to discuss only the brands that have sold over 1,000 vehicles so far this year – Alfa Romeo, Mini and Genesis have also produced year-over-year improvements.) But we want to know. know more. What are they selling? What is different from 2021? And inventory worries aside, will they be able to sustain that forward momentum?

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Volvo XC60 B6 Registration 2022
Volvo XC60 B6 Registration 2022 Photo by Jil McIntosh

Volvo: 2,153, up 3%

Although Volvo’s gains are modest compared to some of the best sellers on this list, the growth of the Chinese-owned Swedish brand is remarkable given the trajectory of many top rivals, including the 5% drop in BMW and the 17% cent drop at Mercedes-Benz. A 6% increase in Volvo SUV sales — XC models account for 9 out of 10 Volvo sales in Canada — explains the brand’s expansion in 2022. Volvo’s shrinking car lineup saw a drop of 17 % more worthy of the market.

Audi: 6,725, up 5%

Forget for a moment the fact that Audi ended the first quarter as the best-selling premium automotive brand in Canada. Consider Audi’s increasingly prominent placement in command of the Volkswagen group. Volkswagen’s sales fell 20% in the first quarter, meaning Audi now accounts for 37% of the group’s Canadian volume; compared to 32% a year ago, 30% in 2019 before the pandemic and 26% in 2015. The sale of some of the largest premium utility vehicles in Canada is a real boost: the Q5 and Q3 produced 2,182 and 1,560 first quarter sales, respectively.

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Lexus: 5,095, up 6%

Simply put in terms of volume added, no traditional premium brand grew sales in Canada at a faster rate than Lexus in 2021. Toyota’s premium brand saw a 24% increase, worth 5,085 additional units last year. While clearly not quite as fast, Lexus’ growth spurt in 2022 continues to be impressive. The big draw at Lexus, as always, is the Canadian-built RX. Sales of the RX jumped 27% to 2,262 units between January and March.

2021 Hyundai ElantraHyundai: 26,692, up 8%

Although many members of this group are at the lower end of the scale, Hyundai is currently Canada’s third-largest auto brand, well ahead of Honda, which usually comes in third place. Hyundai’s first quarter volume doesn’t just put the brand ahead of the pandemic sales pace of the first quarter of 2020 and 2021 either. Hyundai’s 26,692 sales top Q1 2019 performance by a 9% margin. What’s going on at Hyundai? Cars – yes, cars – are selling much better now than they did a year ago. The Elantra, Ioniq, Sonata and Veloster increased by 884 units combined, an increase of 14%.

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Jeep: 16,659, up 11%

Canadian Stellantis dealerships have Jeeps. That fact alone is enough to sell vehicles in 2022. But it also helps that Jeep has some desirable items in its lineup. The main draw, of course, is the Wrangler, whose sales jumped 47% in the first quarter to 6,642 units. Jeep also managed to produce increased volume with the Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee and Renegade.

Tesla: 6,100 up 17%

Often not included in lists like this due to Tesla not reporting model- and market-specific monthly auto sales, there’s one thing we know: Tesla is growing. Automotive News pegs Tesla’s first-quarter growth at the equivalent of 900 more sales over 2021, placing itself between Audi and Lexus in total volume. The same estimates suggest that 6 out of 10 Tesla sales come from the entry-level Model 3.

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Lincoln: 1,692, up 18%

Ford’s eponymous brand has had its share of difficulties in the first three months of 2022. The F-Series has barely held on to its No. 1 position in overall sales and Ford’s total volume has fallen by more than ‘a fifth. But Lincoln (which produces just 4% of Ford Motor Company’s sales in Canada) moved in the opposite direction, thanks to major increases in the Aviator, Corsair and Nautilus. Remember that Lincoln now sells SUVs and crossovers; no cars.

Porsche: 2,125, up 29%

2021 has been a big year for Porsche Canada. The best year ever, in fact. Could Porsche produce another record amid the auto industry’s supply crisis? If we base our conclusions on the brand’s performance during the slowest selling season of the year, then yes. Certainly. Porsche’s 29% shake came on the back of strong growth in the top three sellers: Macan (up 32%), Cayenne (up 52%) and 911 (up 30%). This trio represents nearly 9 out of 10 Porsches sold in Canada.

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Mitsubishi: 6,287, up 34%

Mitsubishi’s only car is the stupid Mirage. The Eclipse Cross certainly doesn’t live up to the legacy of the Eclipse name. The new Outlander is an original sibling of the Nissan Rogue. The current iteration of the RVR is over ten years old. Mitsubishi, however, is riding the wave with three utility vehicles all selling over 2,000 units in the first quarter, including a 67% increase for the Eclipse Cross and a 34% improvement for the new Outlander. current seller of Mitsubishi.

Chrysler: 3,627, up 54%

The days of volume Chryslers such as the PT Cruiser and Sebring are long gone, but Stellantis has a new strategy for Chrysler currently centered around, well, wait a second – two virtually identical minivans? The Dodge Grand Caravan is dead; the Canadian replacement is the Pacifica-based Chrysler Grand Caravan. With just 253 sales of the Chrysler 300 sedan, the Pentastar brand is once again becoming relevant, thanks, oddly enough, to 3,374 minivan sales.

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