Wednesday, January 20, 2021
News Canadian Auto Sales Still Struggling After Q3 2020

Canadian Auto Sales Still Struggling After Q3 2020

Porsche, Subaru and Volvo are the big winners in third quarter.


  • Canadian auto sales down by 3.9% during the third quarter of 2020, compared to 2019.

  • Jaguar, Infiniti and Mitsubishi post biggest losses; Porsche, Subaru and Volvo boast significant increases.

  • Passenger-car sales down 21.4% during Q3 2020 compared to 2019; light trucks up by 1.8%.


For the automotive industry, and humanity in general, the year 2020 has been one to forget. After the confinement period that occurred during the first six months, due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, many were expecting Canadian auto sales to rebound in the third quarter of the year. For most manufacturers, that didn’t happen.

As a whole, sales in the country dropped by 3.9% during the months of July, August and September, with a total of 500,734 units sold—the worst Q3 figure since 2013. During the same period in 2019, Canadians scooped up 521,237 vehicles. Through the first nine months of the year, sales dropped from 1,500,955 to 1,145,226 units, a year-over-year decrease of 23.7%.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek | Photo: Subaru

Those who struggled the most during Q3 2020 are Jaguar (-48.5%), Infiniti (-34.7%), Mitsubishi (-32.0%), BMW (-25.1%), Genesis (-21.8%), Land Rover (-16.8%), Acura (-15.7%), MINI (-13.6%), Volkswagen (-13.3%), Nissan (-12.5%), Maserati (-11.8%), Honda (-11.5%), Audi (-11.2%), FCA (-10.7%) and General Motors (-10.5%).

Meanwhile, some brands bucked the Canadian auto sales trend with positive results, including Porsche (+22.5%), Subaru (+19.9%), Volvo (+19.7%), Kia (+14.7%), Ford (+8.5%), Hyundai (+2.5%) and Mazda (+0.9%).

2021 Kia Seltos | Photo: Kia

Through the first nine months of 2020, each and every manufacturer posted lower sales numbers than in 2019. Very few of them could potential cap off the year with as many units sold as last year, like Kia who currently stand at -10.3%, and perhaps Subaru at -15.1% and Volvo at -17.3%.

Once again, passenger-car sales dropped by 21.4% during Q3, while light truck sales were up by 1.8%. An unsurprisingly result given that many manufacturers are eliminating coupes, sedans and hatchbacks from their lineups in favour of small and midsize crossovers—all classified as light trucks.

Porsche Taycan 4S
2020 Porsche Taycan 4S | Photo: Porsche

And as always, the best-selling vehicle in Canada remains the Ford F-Series pickup line. Out of the 84,092 Ford cars and trucks sold in the third quarter, 48,425 of them were F-Series trucks—a staggering 57.5%.

Canadian auto sales might sag once again in the fourth quarter as provincial governments are putting social restrictions back in place due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Desrosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.

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