Scoreboard: 2008 year-end ying and yang
Don't let the "only" 1.1 per cent annual sales decline (or 1,635,986 units) for 2008 fool you: The Autopocalypse has finally moved north of the 49th parallel.
With new car sales down 21.3 per cent compared to the same month in 2007, Canadian industry analyst, Dennis DesRosiers, says last month was the worst December since 1996.
The big loser in December was Honda/Acura, down 40.8 per cent. While new diesels saw Volkswagen post the biggest year-to-year gain, up 82.5 per cent last month.
Some highlights from 2008 overall:
- Toyota is the new Avis of the Canadian car industry With sales up 11.3 per cent to 224,158 vehicles sold last year, Toyota/Lexus has leapfrogged past both Ford and Chrysler to capture second place to the General for overall sales leadership;
- Imports rule A see of green below meant in 2008 import brands market share ended up exceeding the combined Detroit Three for the first time ever, capturing 51.2 per cent of the market.
Here's the scoreboard for 2008's year end Canadian Winners and Losers followed by the usual pithy comments:
Automaker 2008/2007/'08 to '07 change
Acura 19,384/20,119/-3.7% - Is Honda's premium brand losing ground to Lexus?
Audi 9,271/8,230/12.6% - Good. But nowhere near BMW's numbers
BMW 23,244/24,031/-3.3% - Without Mini, first sales decline in seventeen years
Chrysler 221,580/232,688/-4.8% - Will Chrysler even exist by this time next year?
Ford 210,626/223,688/-4.8% - F-Series best-selling pickup for a record 43 straight years
General Motors 355,172/398,546/-10.9% - Still Numero Uno, but for how long?
Honda 151,974/150,188/1.2% - What's Honda NOT doing that Toyota IS?
Hyundai 80,632/75,005/7.5% - New '09 Elantra wagon should help next year
Infiniti 8,159/6,756/20.8% - New EX35 and G37 kept Nissan's premium brand in the green last year
Jaguar 929/738/25.9% - How long will parent Tata continue to lose ruppees?
Kia 37,520/34,820/7.8% - Next year's Soul and Spectra replacement should keep the momentum up
Land Rover 2,293/2,963/-22.6% - See Jaguar
Lexus 15,001/13,388/12.0% - Now fourth-largest luxury brand behind BMW, Acura and Mercedes
Mazda 84,974/86,659/-1.9% - New 3 and 6 should help in '09
Mercedes-Benz 20,368/16,114/26.4% - With Smart, 'Benz now number two in luxury behind BMW/Mini
MINI 4,905/3,703/32.5% - Canadians like to get small
Mitsubishi 18,639/16,759/11.2% - Best year ever
Nissan 75,292/70,027/7.5% - Another record year
Porsche 1,682/1,987/-15.3% - Looks relatively good compared to some Bay Street portfolios
Saab 1,568/2,209/-29.0% - Unknown future not helping consumer confidence
smart 3,749/2,433/54.1% - More ForTwos sold last year than Saab and Jaguar combined
Subaru 19,892/16,504/20.5% - AWD cars popular in Canada? Who knew?
Suzuki 13,442/12,001/12.0% - Bad economic times helping cheap 'n cheerful lineup
Toyota 209,157/187,938/11.3% - Domestically-made models help move Toyota to Number 2 in Canada
Volkswagen 40,026/36,909/8.4% - New clean diesels save VW's bacon
Volvo 6,507/8,874/-26.7% - See Saab
Total 2008 Light Vehicle Sales 1,635,986/1,653,362/-1.1%