Canadian auto sales have emerged from their coronavirus lull and are now close to levels seen before the pandemic. SUVs remain the vehicle of choice. Kim Parlee speaks with Petrina Gentile, automotive journalist for the Globe and Mail, about the rebound in sales and why now may be the time to strike a deal for a new SUV.
SUVs, though, continue to be a big seller, and here to tell us what is going on and what is interesting and why now might be a really good time to buy, Petrina Gentile from The Globe and Mail to give us a sense of what she is seeing. Petrina, great to see you.
We've got to start off with those numbers. I mean, are you surprised that these car sales have come back so strong?
- Yeah a little bit surprised that they've come back this strong. I mean, this is one of the best Julys that we've seen on record, which is very impressive because when you look back at April and May, the numbers were disastrous. April was down 75%. So we're definitely on the right road to recovery, but we don't know yet if this is just pent-up demand because the dealerships were closed for eight weeks or this is actually a sign of recovery.
At least we know 600,000 leases will come due this year, so that's positive, and we're definitely on the right track. Hopefully we don't have another outbreak of COVID-19, another spike because if we do, there might be more twists and turns ahead in the auto industry.
- So when you take a look-- I mean, obviously top-line sales, fingers crossed that it continues to be as strong as it was, but as you said, we don't know. What other trends are you seeing in terms of just the industry and just consumer buying?
- Well, typically now is a good time to buy, but what we're seeing is manufacturing is really upping the ante. They're actually offering up some very good deals at this time of year.
So some are offering up three- to six-month deferrals on their lease payments. There are even cash deals out there. We never even used to see that before. And manufacturers and dealers are really anxious to move the products, the 2020 products off of their showroom floor to make room for 2021 models. And because of that, there are some really good deals to be had in terms of zero financing and, like I say, deferring your payments.
- I know SUVs are super popular. I've got a Jeep. I don't know if that qualifies as an SUV, but it's bigger, and I know a lot of people like them. But you've got a list of models that have gotten your attention right now.
- Well, one is going right after your Jeep, and that is the Bronco from Ford. And you might recall this. This was a popular vehicle from '66 to '96. More than a million of these vehicles were sold. Now Ford is bringing it back, appealing to those nostalgic baby boomers and also young millennials who might want to go off-roading.
But it is clearly targeted to Jeep. So with this vehicle, you can take the roof off. You can take the doors off. It has a rubberized floor, so you could wash it all out, and there are drain plugs to let the water out. Even has a built-in bottle opener in the back of the vehicle. So very different vehicle.
It goes on sale this winter, starting around $32,000 for the small Bronco. And then the two-door and the four-door versions go on sale next year for about $40,000.
- That's an interesting price point. That is low.
Let me ask you about the next one on your list, Genesis GV80.
- Yeah, so Genesis is a relatively young brand. They've just come out with their first SUV. And this one actually can either seat five or seven people. But they really have a unique business model with them. They're sort of ahead of the pack because their business model is if you want to drive a vehicle, you don't need to go to a dealership. They'll bring the car to you.
So if you're at home or at the cottage, they bring you the vehicle. You do the test drive, and it's no-haggle fixed pricing. So prices start around $64,000 very well equipped, and you get maintenance for five years all included in that price. So when you have an oil change, they bring another vehicle to you, take your car, and do the oil change, which is quite nice.
- That's fantastic, and that actually might be quite interesting for people who are nervous about going to dealerships right now too. So an interesting play there.
Nissan Rogue, this one's been around for a while, but I think it's been remodeled recently, hasn't it?
PETRINA GENTILE: Right. For 2021, completely redone. It gets a new face, a new engine that's more powerful, more fuel efficient, a lot more technology-- your Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging for your phone, and even a Wi-Fi hotspot on the higher model so that you can connect to your vehicle in new ways. And this will go on sale in October starting around $28,000.
- Nissan Ariya, this one I am not familiar with.
- Yes, this is the Ariya. This is an all-electric vehicle.
So Nissan is actually the first company to mass produce an electric vehicle. That was the Leaf in 2010. Since then, they sold over a half a million of them.
This is their second all-electric vehicle, totally different platform. It's an SUV, five seats. Has a range of 480 kilometers. And inside [AUDIO OUT] and gadgets. It's really about connecting to your car.
So they have a personal system where you can say, hey, Nissan, I'm cold, and it'll change the temperature in the vehicle. But it also has Amazon Alexa so you can connect to your car as well-- or to your home as well. So you can be driving home and you can say to your vehicle, hey, Alexa, turn up the air conditioning and turn on the lights when I get home. So it's all about connecting to your vehicle and your home in a different way. That won't go on sale until later next year. We don't know the price of that yet, though.
- I thought you were going to say connect to Amazon so I could buy something. Hey, buy me this on the way home. I do not need more places to buy things.
Toyota Venza, the last one on your list.
- Yeah, the Venza, very interesting. They used to sell this vehicle in Canada, but they discontinued it in 2015. They're bringing it back only as a hybrid, which is really interesting. So because it's only a hybrid, it's going to actually appeal to different people. They say it's going to have a range of-- sorry, fuel economy of around six liters per 100 kilometers, which is really good for an all-wheel-drive SUV.
And this is part of Toyota's plan to get about 40% of their entire lineup electrified by 2025. Even the Sienna minivan that they have is actually going hybrid for 2021 as well.
- I've only got about 10 seconds, Petrina. What's one tip people need to know before they go in and buy themselves a car?
- You know what? You definitely want to check out your finances. So make sure that you know exactly how much you have to invest in a vehicle because it is the second-most-expensive purchase that you'll make. So consult your advisor and find out if you can afford that vehicle you're looking at.
- Petrina, always a pleasure. Thanks so much.
- Thank you.
- That was Petrina Gentile, automotive journalist with The Globe and Mail.
Thank you so much for watching our show tonight. It's always great to have you with us. Keep in mind, we have plenty of articles and videos available on moneytalkgo.com and moneytalkgo.com/life. Keep checking. Any comments or questions? We want to hear from you. You can always email us at email@example.com.
I'm Kim Parlee. Thanks for watching, and be well.