Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 8

8

* JULY 2019

Midsize
pretenders,
or the real deal?

It's unlikely that
smaller trucks will
disrupt the full-size
market, but they're
doing something
significant: Reeling
in younger buyers
By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

YOUNG SUBURBAN DRIVERS,
especially in British Columbia,
Ontario and Quebec, are
emerging as key customers for
midsize trucks, but consumers in the Prairie provinces or
those who need full-size pickups are not ready to downsize,
say industry experts.
Toyota Canada spokesman
Jamie Humphries said Tacoma
buyers tend to skew younger,
and the truck often acts as an
introduction to the brand.
"As we look at conquests,
as we look at the younger customer, we tend to think that

Toyota Canada spokesman
Jamie Humphries says the
Tacoma serves as a gateway
for first-time customers to the
automaker's product line.
P H O T O : T O Y O TA

would be the role of a Corolla,
the role of a Yaris or one of our
smaller vehicles," Humphries
said. "But actually, Tacoma
is our Number One vehicle in
terms of bringing people into
the brand. It's like a gateway to
Toyota, you could say.
"We also find that they're a

The Toyota
Tacoma leads
the midsize
pickup segment
in Canada,
although its
sales are down
12 per cent
this year.
P H O T O : T O Y O TA

younger buyer
as well. Tacoma
might be their
first Toyota purchase,
but we also find that they're
likely to continue on with
Toyota."
Dennis DesRosiers,
president of DesRosiers
Automotive
Consultants Inc., said
the full-size pickup's
"core markets [are]
Edmonton, Calgary,
Alberta, Saskatchewan
and with the exception
of the lower mainland,
British Columbia."
Quebec has the lowest full-size pickup share in
Canada, and "they probably
would have more of a tendency
of moving over to the smaller
pickups.
"It's a more suburban truck
than anything."

MORE IN THE MIDDLE
The number of midsize
pickup models in Canada
has grown to seven from five
this year as Ford revives

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New to the midsize-truck field is the Ford Ranger. With more
variety in the segment, there will be more buyers, but experts
say full-size-pickup sales are unlikely to be affected. P H O T O : F O R D

its Ranger nameplate and
Jeep rolls out the Gladiator.
They join the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma as well as
the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC
Canyon, Nissan Frontier and
Honda Ridgeline.
This year through June,
sales of the Ranger had already
surpassed the Frontier and
Ridgeline. Ford sold 2,390
Rangers in the first half of
2019. Jeep had sold 453 the new
Gladiator pickup.
The segment's two market leaders - the Tacoma and
Colorado - have seen their
sales dip by 12 per cent and 8.9
per cent, respectively, in the
first half of 2019. That follows
strong 2018 showings in which
sales increased 11 per cent
and 16 per cent. Sales of the
Frontier were essentially flat,
falling just 10 units from a year
earlier, while Canyon sales
were down two per cent.

LOWER PRICE, HIGH APPEAL
Historically, DesRosiers
said, automakers have done
well with midsize pickups in
Canada. Their prices - lower
than those of full-size trucks
- often sway Canadian consumers, who are more cost-conscious than buyers south of the
border.
Canada "is a leaner market-

place from a consumer point
of view," DesRosiers said. "We
are a step down in terms of the
size of the vehicle we're buying and the price that we're
paying for vehicles. The U.S.
is much more lucrative, and
it's one of the reasons why the
midsize smaller pickup trucks
have done well in Canada from
a market share perspective versus the United States."
Still, little overlap appears
to exist between full-sizeand midsize-truck buyers.
That quells concerns that the
Ranger, for instance, could cannibalize F-series sales or that
the Gladiator could pull away
Ram pickup buyers.
"If anything, we see the
inverse happening, where a
midsize-truck buyer comes
to our showroom, looks at a
Ranger and says, 'Hey, for the
same amount of money and
the same payment, I can actually move to a full-size truck,
and that's an alternative," said
Joseph Comacchio, product
marketing manager at Ford of
Canada.
"But seldom do we see people move from F-150 down to
Ranger. A true full-size-truck
buyer needs the utility or
wants the utility and space
that a full-size truck offers."
- ANC

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Auto_News_CANADA_JULY_06_24_2019.indd 1

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6/24/19 3:36 PM

Like the Honda Ridgeline, the Jeep Gladiator does not have a
full-size sibling to trip over in terms of price. P H O T O : F C A


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Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2

Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 21
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Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 23
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Automotive News Canada - July 2019 - v2 - 28
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