The Detroit Three automakers have declined so dramatically in Canada that they now control just 20% of passenger car sales to consumers, compared with almost 60% in 1990, a new analysis of the market shows.
Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, the dominant players in the Canadian market for most of the 20th century, now trail Honda and Toyota in passenger car sales to retail customers, according to leading Canadian firm DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
GM, which led the pack in 1990, now ranks third behind Honda and Toyota, while Ford has fallen to eighth and Chrysler to 10th.
“The performance of the Detroit Three in the passenger car market is quite troubling,” Dennis DesRosiers, president of the firm, noted in a report that outlined what he described as “shocking” numbers.
“Especially as the market is turning back to passenger cars in North America and with fuel efficiency being jammed down the throats of consumers by our friendly politicians, the lack of passenger car volume has to worry these companies,” DesRosiers said.
GM held 31.9% of the passenger car market – with sales to fleet customers excluded – in 1990, but as of the first six months of this year grabbed just 12.1%.
Ford’s share plunged to 5% from 14.4%, while Chrysler sat at just 2.9% compared with 12.3% in 1990.
“When an OEM loses the consumer, they are in real trouble,” DesRosiers said.
He pointed out, however, that Chrysler, Ford and GM still dominate the truck side of the ledger which includes the crossover utility vehicle segments, another category of the market that has been strong amid recent high gas prices in Canada as consumers switch out of traditional sport utility vehicles.
Nonetheless, the Detroit Three are also facing stiff competition in trucks, with their share having fallen to 59.2% this year from 83.5% in 1990.