Many mainstream brands haven’t been so swift to react to the market’s rapid shift. Would Kia sales be sliding twice as fast as the industry as a whole in 2018 if the brand offered as many utility vehicle nameplates as BMW? Would Chrysler be so invisible if the brand’s only SUV, the Aspen, hadn’t died off in 2010? Volkswagen Canada is enjoying noteworthy success with its second-generation Tiguan and first Atlas, but why did Volkswagen’s SUV strategy not develop properly until 2017?
Premium auto brands jumped on the fast-moving bandwagon early on and haven’t looked back since. This is part of the reason premium brands now own more than 11 per cent of the overall new vehicle market, up from nine per cent five years ago and seven a decade ago. Now, despite cratering passenger car volume, Canada’s premium sector is largely holding itself together despite 2018’s headwinds. With sales figures from the Global Automakers of Canada, these are Canada’s 10 top-selling premium auto brands through the first 10 months of 2018.
Porsche: 7,301, up 7 per cent
Prior to the recession, even with the successful Cayenne propping the brand up, Porsche was a niche entity. Chances were, you didn’t see a Porsche on your morning commute. Only 1,987 Porsches were sold in all of Canada in 2007. Now Porsche averages nearly 2,200 sales in Canada each quarter. The Cayenne and best-selling Macan aren’t the only vehicles to thank, however — 2018 will also be the best year ever for Canadian sales of the 911, by far the longest-running model in Porsche’s lineup.