One year or so after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, where does the auto industry stand? Well, new vehicle sales in the first quarter are up 15.6 percent from the same period in 2020.
According to the Automotive News Data Center, 384,335 new vehicles were sold across the country during the first three months of 2021, confirming the recovery that started last fall.
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Among the top-performing automakers were Volvo (50.4 percent increase), Mazda (33.3 percent), General Motors (29.9 percent) and Nissan (27.6 percent). Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Subaru, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all posted gains ranging from 14-18 percent.
In fact, just four car brands—Mitsubishi (-6.9 percent), Jaguar (-34.3 percent), Dodge (-43 percent) and Fiat (-50 percent)—reported sales decreases by percentage during the first quarter. In Dodge’s case, the main reason is the loss of the Grand Caravan, which has been reinvented as a Chrysler product.
The global chip shortage remains a definite hurdle for automakers as many are being forced to idle production due to a lack of parts, which has an impact on sales.
New Record for Tesla
Tesla, whose Canadian deliveries increased 67.7 percent from the first three months of 2020, continues to rise. Following an exceptional year where it nearly sold half a million vehicles, Elon Musk’s company began 2021 with a new quarterly record.
We’re talking about 184,800 units, more than the 180,570 units of the previous quarter and better than what some industry analysts were anticipating.
The popularity of the Model Y crossover explains that success, especially in China where it is now also assembled alongside the Model 3. Meanwhile, the more expensive Model S and Model X have slumped. That’s not a real surprise: most customers prefer to wait for the updated models that were recently announced.
Tesla is currently the most valuable automaker in the world ($795 billion USD), far ahead of Toyota ($207 billion USD) and Volkswagen ($97 billion USD).