With new vehicle sales in Canada for the first nine months of 2020 now in the books, there are signs of recovery from the historic sales drop caused by the COVID-19 health crisis earlier in the year. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, sales of new cars, trucks and SUVs between January 1 and September 30 this year totalled 1,151,599 units. That total reflects a year-over-year (YOY) decrease of 23.6% compared to the end of the third-quarter (Q3) in 2019. However, the ongoing sales recovery resulted ‘only’ in a 3.9% decrease during the last quarter compared to Q3 2019.
With overall sales down, some vehicles saw quarterly sales gains relative to Q3 2019. But none of the top 10 best-selling new vehicles on our list recorded increases in year-to-date (YTD) sales. Based on data supplied by the automakers through to the end of September 2020*, here are the 10 best-selling new vehicles in Canada for the first three quarters of this year.
10th place: Nissan Rogue
With sales of 18,410 units so far in 2020, Nissan Canada’s best-selling vehicle, the Rogue compact SUV, claimed the tenth spot on the best-sellers’ list. As the ageing 2020 model transitions to an all-new Rogue for 2021, sales for Q3 2020 were down by 17.8% compared to the same period in 2019. For the first nine months of 2020, the Nissan’s sales saw a YOY 38.4% decrease.
9th place: Hyundai Kona
As the country’s best-selling sub-compact SUV, the Hyundai Kona proves how popular small SUVs are becoming with Canadians. The Hyundai SUV recorded a significant 56.3% sales gain in Q3 2020 compared to the same quarter last year—the largest annual quarterly rise among the 10 best-sellers. Through to the end of September 2020, Hyundai’s best-selling new vehicle found 19,614 buyers, which translates to a minor 0.2% drop compared to the first nine months of 2019.
8th place: Toyota Corolla
Along with the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla remains a rare compact car among the trucks and SUVs that populate the remaining spots on this list of best-sellers. So far this year, offering both sedan and hatchback body styles, total YTD Corolla sales came to 25,879 units. That represents a 12.8% YOY quarterly decrease and a 30.7% drop compared to the first three quarters of 2019.
7th place: Honda CR-V
No stranger to recent Canadian new vehicle best-seller lists, the Honda CR-V remains a popular choice in the competitive compact SUV segment. The Honda SUV recorded annual YTD sales of 32,481 units. While that’s a 25.3% decrease compared to the first nine months of 2019, Q3 2020 CR-V sales are only down 6.7% compared to the third quarter of 2019.
6th place: Honda Civic
With 33,028 copies sold through to the end of September 2020, the Civic compact family of coupes, sedans and hatchbacks held onto its title as not only Honda’s best-selling vehicle in the country but also Canada’s most-popular new passenger car. Despite its high ranking, Civic sales in Q3 2020 were down 13.8% YOY, and sales through the first nine months this year were off 33.4% compared to the same period in 2019.
5th place: Chevrolet Silverado
Usually slotted right behind its rivals at Ram and Ford on the sales charts, both General Motors’ light-duty full-size pickup trucks dropped a few spots in Q3 due to the surge in Toyota RAV4 sales. Even so, 38,085 Canadians bought the Chevrolet brand’s top-selling Silverado during the first nine months this year. That number is an 8.5% YOY decrease compared to the same time period last year, but a 2.6% quarterly gain compared to Q3 2019.
4th place: GMC Sierra
Marketed as a more premium alternative to its mainstream Chevrolet sibling, the GMC Sierra full-size light-duty pickup truck continued to outsell the Silverado so far in 2020. With 39,260 Sierras sold through the first nine months of 2020, the GMC brand’s perennially popular truck saw an annual YTD decrease (-6.5%) and a slight decline (-1.4%) in YOY quarterly sales.
3rd place: Toyota RAV4
With a healthy YOY 19.8% sales increase during the last quarter, Toyota’s best-selling new vehicle in Canada surged up the sales charts, breaking the stranglehold full-size pickup trucks have recently held on the top four spots. Despite selling 41,610 units during the first nine months of 2020, YTD sales of the RAV4 compact SUV were down 15.9% compared to the end of Q3 2019.
2nd place: Ram Pickup
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ top-selling new vehicle in Canada remained the Ram light-duty full-size pickup truck series, solidifying second-place in new vehicle sales through to the end of September 2020. Selling both the new generation Ram alongside the older Ram Classic models, so far this year, FCA has moved 63,237 light-duty trucks, representing a 5.4% YOY quarterly drop and a 16.0% YTD decrease.
1st place: Ford F-Series
Regardless of the changes 2020 has brought to the Canadian new-vehicle market, finding the Ford F-Series light-duty full-size pickup truck sitting at the top of the sales charts remains a constant. With 104,891 units sold through to the end of September 2020, F-Series sales were off 10.4% compared to the first nine months of 2019. However, a 14.9% YOY quarterly increase in Q3 2020 only strengthened the Ford truck's hold as the top-selling new vehicle in Canada.
*Vehicle sales based on manufacturer-supplied information.