TORONTO, [Jan. 28, 2019] – Canada’s Japanese-brand auto manufacturers posted the fifth consecutive year of record sales in 2018, with total light vehicle sales rising almost two per cent over the year to just over 733,000 units, according to figures released this week by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada (JAMA Canada).

Several JAMA Canada members achieved new sales records in 2018. These include Hino Motors Canada (medium duty trucks), Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Nissan Canada, Subaru Canada and Toyota Canada.

“Despite challenges in the auto sector across North America, much of which can be traced to uncertainty over global trade, Canada-based Japanese-brand auto manufacturers remain resilient,” said Larry Hutchinson, Chairman, JAMA Canada and President, Toyota Canada. “While Canada remains highly trade-dependent in a robust, rules-based global trade system, it is also important for JAMA Canada members that our success continues to be a made-in-Canada story.”

In 2018, seven out of ten Japanese-brand light vehicles sold in Canada were built locally across North America. Japanese-brand automakers, parts manufacturers and dealerships are responsible for over 80,000 direct and indirect jobs, that in turn support 120,000 intermediate and expenditure-induced jobs across Canada.

As Japanese brand production in the NAFTA tends to be high-volume models, imports from Japan remain crucial in order to meet the varied transportation needs of Canadian consumers. Meanwhile, nearly 78 per cent of Japanese light vehicle production in Canada was exported in 2018. Canada remained a net exporter of Japanese brand vehicles in 2018, exporting about 3.7 times as many Japanese-brand vehicles as were imported from Japan.

“JAMA Canada members are responsible for driving a significant portion of Canada’s automobile industry,” said David Worts, Executive Director of JAMA Canada. “From manufacturing, importing and exporting vehicles and auto parts, to national distribution and over 1,200 dealerships across Canada, the Japanese-brand auto industry in Canada has built a partnership with Canadians that spans more than half a century.”

2018 Highlights:
· Japanese brand light vehicle sales in 2018 set a new record of 733,318 units, which boosted market share to 36.9% in Canada.
· Japanese-brand auto manufacturers production fell 7.1% to 930,140 units, but our share of light vehicle production in Canada increased to 46.5% in 2018 as total output in Canada declined to just under 2 million light vehicles.
· While Honda Canada was the only automaker to increase production in 2018, the overall decline arose from softer demand for sedans in general, and the transition at TMMC to building the next generation RAV4 in Woodstock.
· In 2018, Japanese brand automakers built close to 1.3 vehicles in Canada for every one sold.
· 2018 was also another record year for both sales and production of Hino medium-duty trucks in Canada.
· Since 1993, nearly 5 million more vehicles have been exported from Canada by Japanese-brand manufacturers that have been imported from Japan, the US, Mexico and other countries combined.
· Since 1986, Japanese automakers have invested about $12.7 billion for vehicle manufacturing and assembly operations in Canada. An additional $1.9 billion new investment was announced in 2017 & 2018.
· There are more than 60 Japanese auto parts plants currently operating in Canada.