The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the Canadian auto market, and its economic impact has resulted in a loss exceeding 300,000 auto sales sinch March 2020. Since the second quarter, automobile giants have seen signs of improvement, but the industry remains concerned for a long-term recovery as cases continue to flare up.
The Canadian Auto Market
The auto market saw relatively smaller brands like Kia, Mazda, and Hyundai bring in more sales, with Kia recording its highest-volume month in 20 years. However, five automobile giants reported less than half as many sales compared to 2019. Overall, the automobile industry has experienced a 44% decrease in sales in the second quarter of 2020.
Let us look at the top 5 automobile giants that lost big-time during the pandemic:
About 15 years ago, Chrysler owned about 3% of the Canadian auto market. Flash forward to the second quarter of 2020 in COVID-19 times, its shares have dropped to 0.1%. In the last few months, Chrysler sold under 500 vehicles, which amounts to a 77% decrease. Amazingly, their only two models – the 300 and Pacifica, are both built in Canada.
Mitsubishi’s market shares dropped to 0.9% due to a 58% decline in sales to under 3000 units in 2020. The brand’s newest model, “The Eclipse Cross” accounted for 21% of Q2 sales in 2019, and this figure fell to 14% in 2020.
Dodge saw its Q2 market share fall from 2.3% in 2019 to 1.5% in 2020. The brand’s best-selling vehicle, “The Grand Caravan.” Declined in sales, leading to the company selling only Challengers, Durangos, and Chargers, which account for 0.26% of the Canadian Light vehicle market. Total sales dropped by 64% to 4,850 units in Q2.
In just three months into the pandemic, Toyota’s sales dropped by 31.700 units, with a market share drop of 0.9%. Despite being Canada’s second-best-selling brand, the automobile giant saw a 49% drop in sales even with relatively strong pickup truck sales. The leading cause of the decline was Canada’s best-selling midsize car, the Camry, which took a 72% nosedive in sales.
Nissan is the biggest loser during the pandemic with CEO departures and profit losses. The brand was already underperforming before COVID-19, and as a result, its Q2 market shares dropped to 5.1%. All Nissan’s top-selling models like the Altima, Frontier, NV, Pathfinder, Armada, and Rogue saw sales fell by 50%. Overall, Nissan was down 56% to 16,303 units in 2020.
With looming instability in the Canadian auto market due to COVID-19, automobile giants are adapting their production and sales strategies for the long haul.
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