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10 Best Selling New Vehicles Q1 2020

These aren't normal times, and the sales of Canadian new vehicles during the first three months of 2020 reflected that abnormality. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, across Canada by the end of March, municipalities and provinces enacted stay-at-home orders. In most regions, dealer service operations—considered an essential service—remained open to address vehicle needs for government agencies customers.


Some sales showrooms remained open, but the remaining online sales activity wasn't anywhere near enough to sustain an average sales pace. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc., March 2020 sales plunged 48%, and January through to March sales were off an estimated 20%. In the end, *half of the 10 Best Selling New Vehicles of Q1 2020 saw double-digit, Year-Over-Year (YOY) sales drops.

10th place: Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is due for a new replacement within the next year. But that doesn't seem to matter to Canadian new vehicle buyers. Competing in the hotly-contested compact SUV class along with top sellers like the 5th-place Toyota RAV4 and 6th-place Honda CR-V, the Rogue is Nissan's best-selling model. Yet the 5-passenger SUV was not immune to the late-March sales drop. With 5,518 units sold during the first three months of 2020, Rogue sales were down 33.1% compared to the same period in 2019.


9th place: Toyota Corolla

Reflecting the popularity of SUVs over cars, the Corolla has been superseded by its RAV4 sibling as Toyota's most popular model in Canada. However, along with the 7th-place Honda Civic, the compact 5-passenger Toyota Corolla is one of only two passenger cars to make this list. Despite an all-new Corolla Hatchback arriving for 2019, and the even-fresher Corolla Sedan for 2020, YOY sales of the popular Toyota compact were down 15.5% to 7,818 units for the first three months of 2020.


8th place: Dodge Grand Caravan

One of only four vehicles on this list to post a sales gain—and that despite an ageing platform and consumers migrating to SUVs and trucks—the up-to-8-passenger Dodge Grand Caravan minivan continues to be popular with value-conscious Canadians. With 8,408 units sold, Q1 2020 Grand Caravan sales were up 2.5% compared to the first quarter of 2019, bucking the industry's dramatic downward sales trend.


7th place: Honda Civic

Despite sales down 36.2% YOY to 9,016 units sold, the Honda Civic compact family of sedans, coupes and hatchbacks remained the most popular new passenger car in Canada in Q1 2020. Like many of its compact car competition, the Civic's compact SUV sibling, the CR-V, has surpassed the small car in Canadian Honda showrooms in popularity.


6th place: Honda CR-V

A slight design and feature refresh for 2020 has helped the Honda CR-V compact SUV remain Honda's best-selling vehicle in Canada. Even though 29.5% fewer CR-Vs were sold in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, 9,182 Canadians bought the ever-popular SUV in Q1 2020. A new CR-V Hybrid model coming later this year should boost CR-V sales for buyers looking for lower operating costs.


5th place: Toyota RAV4

Ignore the quartet of full-size pickup trucks that sit at the top of this list, and the Toyota RAV4 is the most popular non-truck in Canada through to the end of March. Even with sales off 12.7% compared to the first three months of 2019, 10,819 RAV4s were sold in Canada between January 1 and March 31 this year.


4th place: Chevrolet Silverado 

While many of the best-selling vehicles found on this list experienced annual double-digit percentage sales drops, the Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck posted a 3.1% YOY sales boost for the first three months of 2020. With 11,171 units sold, Chevrolet's most-popular vehicle is seeing a bit of a sales surge.


3rd place: GMC Sierra 

Despite its  "premium" brand positioning over "mainstream" Chevrolet within the General Motors family, GMC's Sierra full-size pickup continues to out-sell its near-identical Silverado platform-mate. With sales up 4.5% YOY to 11,814 units sold through to the end of March, the Sierra continued to be not only GMC's best-selling model but also the most popular vehicle in the entire GM Canada lineup.


2nd place: Ram Pickup 

 Despite a sales environment that saw severe drops in sales across many brands and models, the ever-popular Ram 1500 full-size pickup truck recorded a slight uptick in YOY sales in Canada in the first quarter. Sales of Fiat Chrysler Automobile's Ram family were up 0.3% to 19,179 units sold compared to the first quarter of 2019, making the Ram truck the second-most popular new vehicle in Canada in Q1 2020.


1st place: Ford F-Series 

Seemingly ignoring any outside economic or pandemic pressures, the Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck was the most popular new vehicle—car, SUV or truck—in Canada for the first three months of 2020. Even with sales down 5.3% YOY with 28,515 units sold, the F-Series held on to its perennial top spot. With  lower than usual fuel prices and potential support from manufacturer-backed purchase incentives, it will be interesting to see how the demand for the F-150 and its truck rivals will be affected as we head into these uncertain times over the next few months.

*Vehicle sales based on manufacturer-supplied information.


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