Not too long ago, entry-level luxury cars such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class served in distinguish duty as status symbols. You’ve made it, they said, but you won’t flaunt it too loudly. Now, these cars are often overlooked in favour of their crossover siblings, the X3 and Q5 and GLC, respectively, a trio which outsells the 3 Series/A4/C-Class triumvirate by a 30-per cent margin. That margin was 45 per cent, in favour of the cars, just five years ago. Small/entry-level luxury cars now form 2.6 per cent of overall Canadian auto sales.
A year ago, Canadians were acquiring 6,800 midsize sedans per month. Five years ago, when the collapse of the midsize market was already able to be easily forecasted, Canadians acquired nearly 11,000 per month. A decade ago, almost 13,000 midsize cars were sold per month. In 2018, with an 18-per cent year-over-year decline wreaking havoc, midsize cars own barely more than threee per cent of the overall market and generate only 5,600 monthly sales. The segment is led by the Toyota Camry, which has seen its Canadian demand fall by nearly half since just before 2008’s economic collapse.