Yet the rate at which passenger cars have shed market share caught many automakers by surprise. Manufacturers with car-heavy lineups have sometimes been slow to respond to a trend that’s seen customers spend more money in competitors’ showrooms, on higher-profit utility vehicles.The car market’s downturn has, however, produced numerous interesting outcomes for a handful of the most dominant cars on the market. In 2009, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla produced 15 per cent of all car sales. Yet while car sales have fallen 36 per cent in the intervening decade, the disappearance of competition has allowed the Civic and Corolla to hold onto much of their success. Civic and Corolla sales are down just 8 per cent during the same period, and the duo now owns more than 22 per cent of the car market.RELATED COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Trending in Canada 10 vehicles on track for a terrible 2019 in CanadaBut it’s hardly sunshine and roses. Each of Canada’s five best-selling cars produced fewer sales in 2019 than in 2018. Collectively, Canada’s 10 most popular cars lost 18,908 sales, year-over-year, in 2019. Meanwhile, three of Canada’s 10 top sellers posted double-digit-percentage declines last year.And these were the successful cars.The car market’s deterioration is pervasive. At Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen, car volume decreased in 2019. Granted, at seven of those brands, overall volume increased thanks to the success of trucks and SUVs.Across these brands and all other marques, these were the 10 best-selling cars in Canada in 2019, with figures from Global Automakers of Canada.10. Honda Accord: 11,381, down 18 per centEasily out-selling the next-best Chevrolet Cruze, which tumbled 64 per cent to 9,478 as GM phases out its compact car, the midsize Honda Accord took its own tumble in 2019 yet remained a top seller. Sharp though the Accord’s year-over-year loss was (a 2,446-unit drop is certainly harsh), the Accord was hardly alone in its midsize segment. Declines reported by the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 and Volkswagen Passat were all notably worse.9. Kia Soul: 11,868, up 8 per centCar? Tall hatchback? Crossover? Urban utility vehicle? Whatever you call it, the Kia Soul had a strong year in Canada thanks to the launch of an all-new third-generation model and rising demand for the Soul’s EV variant. Some 1,409 electric Souls were sold in 2019, 12 per cent of the nameplate’s total.8. Toyota Camry: 13,654, down 6 per centThe midsize segment is at but a fraction of its former glory. This isn’t where families spend their money, it’s not the segment to which compact car owners aspire, and it’s not a segment where many automakers even wish to compete. This grants the Toyota Camry all the more power to easily walk away with the title of Canada’s best-selling midsize car, although sales in 2019 slipped to an eight-year low.7. Kia Forte: 15,549, up 8 per centVolkswagen Jetta. Mazda 3. Toyota Corolla. The Kia Forte was hardly the only redesigned car in Canada’s compact category in 2019. The Forte, however, was the only member of that quartet to produce a second-best-ever annual Canadian sales total.6. Volkswagen Jetta: 17,260, up 14 per centBucking a trend that saw Canada’s five top small cars all sell less often in 2019 than in 2018, the new-for-2019 Jetta grew its sales by more than 2,000 units in 2019. This wasn’t the level of success Volkswagen achieved the last time it launched a new Jetta — the previous Jetta averaged 28,000 annual sales between 2011 and 2013. Given the nature of the category, however, a 2019 surge was more than noteworthy for the Volkswagen sedan.5. Volkswagen Golf: 19,668, down 8 per centVolkswagen’s plans for the Golf in North America aren’t entirely clear at the moment, but as we wait (for a while) for the Mk8 Golf that’s shortly to be on sale across the pond, the current Golf remains a reasonably popular car. Including 2,471 sales of the GTI performance offspring, the Golf line was Canada’s best-selling Volkswagen in 2019. Don’t expect that to continue — the Tiguan was only a few hundred sales behind last year.4. Mazda 3: 21,276, down 20 per centThe launch of an all-new, highly regarded Mazda 3 could have gone worse. The launch of the new 3 could have resulted in a car that didn’t finish among Canada’s four top sellers, for example. But it’s hard to imagine anyone expected the launch of the new 3 to produce results any worse than a 20-per-cent year-over-year drop in Canadian volume and the worst year on record for the nameplate. As recently as 2013, Mazda was still selling more than 40,000 3s per year; as recently as 2008 Mazda was selling more than 50,000 3s per year.3. Hyundai Elantra: 39,463, down 6 per centFor a time, it appeared as though the Hyundai Elantra would be the car to unseat the long-time king as Canada’s top seller. But then the car market turned downhill, and the Elantra turned with it. Elantra sales have fallen by nearly a fifth since 2016; by 28 per cent since peaking in 2013. Now selling twice for every three Civics, the Elantra remains a top-tier competitor, but that relatively narrow margin between the Elantra and the top dog – 15 per cent in 2013 – is a distant memory. 2. Toyota Corolla: 47,596, down 2 per centHow telling is it that during a year in which one of the planet’s most dominant manufacturers releases a new version of its longest-running products with one of the best automotive reputations known to mankind, sales of that product decreased? Quite telling, indeed. This is not a market that’s kind to cars, not even to hot redesigns. Nevertheless, the Corolla’s share of the compact car market increased by more than two points to 17 per cent in 2019 thanks to the fact that sales fell only modestly.1. Honda Civic: 60,139, down 13 per centEven with a sharp 13-per-cent drop that causes Honda to shed over 700 sales per month, the Civic’s dominant year-end result is still a foregone conclusion. Yes, 2019 marks the Civic’s 22nd consecutive year as Canada’s most popular car, a streak of leaderboard control that began in 1998. As the 10th-generation Civic finishes off its fourth model year against newer competition, the dominant Honda’s market share stumbled. But even with Civic sales at an eight-year low, the Civic still outsold its nearest competitor by over 1,000 units per month. advertisement ‹ Previous Next › RELATED TAGSCivicCorollaElantraHondaHyundaiToyotaSedanFlexListFeature StoryNew VehiclesTop 10s and ListsFlexInstagram 10 Break-out stars in Canada’s automotive market in 2019 We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 2020 Hyundai Elantra Ultimate Jil McIntosh Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” One quarter. A fourth. A single quadrant. Twenty-five per cent.No matter how you phrase it, passenger cars produced just 2.5 out of every 10 new vehicle sales in Canada in 2019. That’s fewer than half-a-million sales for a category that produced – get this – more than 750,000 sales during the depths of 2009’s recession.Yes, 2009 marked an end to the passenger car sector’s dominance of the Canadian light vehicle market. Not once in the decade since have cars outsold their light-truck brethren: SUVs, crossovers, vans and pickup trucks.