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

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These 10 Vehicles Could Have Attracted More Buyers If There Was More Inventory

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While new vehicle sales in Canada in 2021 rebounded from 2020 lows, one problem remained.

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There were not enough vehicles.

Across virtually all makes and model lines, demand has far outstripped supply, particularly in the second half of 2021. Automakers have simply been unable to acquire the parts needed – chips, in particular – to maintain the regular operation of factories.

Yet despite the limited inventory of dealer lots, Canadians still acquired 7% more vehicles in 2021 than in 2020, enough to make 2021 the 11th best year on record. 1.66 million new vehicles were sold. Brands such as Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen gained significant market share because for much of the year they all had a sufficient number of vehicles. Not a surplus, be careful, but enough.

On the other hand, slowdowns and plant closures combined with shipping impediments are severely limiting the flow of many high-volume vehicles. How bad was that?

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

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

  2. Driving By Numbers: The 10 worst-selling vehicles in Canada in 2021

    Driving By Numbers: The 10 worst-selling vehicles in Canada in 2021

We’ve compiled a list of 10 vehicles that each produced at least 5,000 sales in 2020 – surely enough to be considered. volume products – before falling off a cliff in 2021. We ignored discontinued vehicles that were expected to suffer dramatic declines regardless of the big market challenges, to focus on in-demand vehicles that lost large market shares . Combined, this group lost over 26,000 sales between 2020 and 2021, a shocking drop given the market’s upward trajectory.

In almost any other year, you could examine a list of the most severe sales declines in the Canadian auto industry and draw conclusions about the decline in vehicle desirability. But 2021 is not any other year. Invariably, in a year in which incentives declined and transaction prices soared, it would have been enough for those 10 vehicles to attract more buyers from more inventory.

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10. Chevrolet Traverse: 4,704, down 12%

2020 Chevrolet Traverse RS
2020 Chevrolet Traverse RS Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

The Chevrolet Traverse isn’t a major player in a segment controlled by the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas. The members of this trio averaged more than 16,000 sales in 2021 — Chevrolet hasn’t surpassed 6,000 units on an annual basis since 2010. 2021 was a bad year by Traverse standards, however, after the big Chevy averaged nearly 5,700 annual sales between 2018 and 2020.

9. Subaru Forester: 9,823, down 12%

There is a simple way to assess the damage done to the Subaru Forester in 2021. Just look at the list of the best-selling SUVs and crossovers in Canada. In 2020, the Forester placed 17th; in 2021, the Forester fell 12 places to 29th. Thankfully, Subaru had no trouble moving Crosstreks. The No. 1 Subaru saw a 35% year-over-year increase and finished the year as the eighth best-selling utility vehicle.

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8. Ram Pickup: 73,467, down 12%

2021 Ram 1500 Longhorn
2021 Ram 1500 Longhorn Photo by Jil McIntosh

Only the most eccentric metrics would declare Canada’s second best-selling vehicle line to be among the worst performing in 2021. Yet Stellantis’ Ram truck line saw a 12% decline worth 10,205 sales lost. That was enough to reduce Ram’s market share in the full-size truck market by nearly two points to 24 percent.

7. Nissan Murano: 6,853, down 15%

The third-generation Nissan Murano is no spring chicken, having launched in time for the 2015 model year, so Murano sales hadn’t surprisingly started to slow down quite dramatically even before the pandemic. Murano’s volume collapsed by more than a fifth between 2017 and 2019. The challenges of the past two years have only exacerbated Murano’s difficulties.

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6. Chevrolet Colorado: 6,648, down 16%

In 2020, it was becoming increasingly clear that midsize pickups had a future. No, they don’t produce anything like the kind of volume generated by their full-sized brethren, but the growth in the segment has been notable. Near the top of the heap was General Motors. Between two trucks – the Colorado and the Canyon – GM had 25% of the market. In 2021, GM’s market share fell to 22%, as Colorado sales fell 16%; GM’s rivals rose 10%.

5. Subaru Impreza: 4,416, down 23%

Passenger cars are losing market share, there’s no doubt about that. Still, in terms of actual volume, 2021 sales were actually slightly better than 2020 car production. The Subaru Impreza didn’t follow the trajectory of its rivals, shedding 1,300 units in just one year. Impreza offshoots told a different story: WRX volume jumped 17%; the Crosstrek grew by 35% to generate 41% of Subaru’s sales.

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4. Honda Odyssey: 5,361, down 23%

In 2018, Honda Canada sold 11,546 minivans. It was the first year of an all-new Odyssey, and despite declining interest in minivans, Odyssey volume increased by 3%. In the same year, Kia sold 5,388 minivans under the Sedona banner. Overall, minivans have fallen even more over the past three years, and the increasingly upscale and limited-supply Odyssey produced just 5,361 sales in 2021. The Kia Carnival, terribly rare also in dealerships, was only one unit behind.

3. GMC Terrain: 7,235, down 27%

GM Canada dealerships certainly didn’t have enough SUVs in stock in 2021 to give buyers enough options. Yet when it came to the GMC Terrain, it was clear even before the pandemic that interest in GM’s entry-level utility vehicle was no longer what it was. Typically, GMC is used to selling over 12,000 lots per year. 2021’s total of 7,235 units was Terrain’s lowest full-year tally since its launch in 2009.

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2. Toyota Tundra: 9,431, down 29%

Part of a two-pronged Toyota truck lineup that is known for tight inventory controls even before the last two years of global supply chain constraints, the performance of the Toyota Tundra in 2021 has also surely been affected. by a change of generation. For the first time since 2007, there’s finally an all-new Tundra hitting dealer lots in 2022. Well, you probably won’t find one available in the lot, but Toyota has completed the move to the third-generation Tundra. of the company.

1. Chevrolet Equinox: 8,675, down 31%

2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS
2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS Picture of Chevy

Assembled in Ingersoll, Ontario, the Chevrolet Equinox suffered the worst decline of any vehicle in volume in 2021, precisely because it was rarely assembled in 2021. The production line for the Equinox sat idle for months as dealer inventory depleted and GM’s overall position in the Canadian SUV sector weakened. GM sold just under 80,000 SUVs in Canada in 2021, 11% of which were Equinox. Before the pandemic, in 2018, GM sold just under 90,000 SUVs, 24% of which were Equinoxes.

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