Chrysler Canada June vehicle sales notch higher
* Chrysler Canada sales rise to 23,705 vehicles for month
* Car sales increase 8.1 pct, truck sales drop 0.7 pct
TORONTO, July 4 (Reuters) - Chrysler vehicle sales in Canada increased 0.5 percent from a year earlier in June, the company said on Wednesday, as car sales strengthened but demand for trucks declined.
Total sales rose to 23,705 vehicles from 23,576 in the same month last year, while year-to-date sales were up 7 percent to 130,286 vehicles, the company said.
Truck sales fell 0.7 percent in June to 19,971, while car sales increased 8.1 percent to 3,734 vehicles, said the company, whose U.S. parent is controlled by Italy's Fiat.
"At the halfway point in 2012, our passenger car sales are up a whopping 31 percent, led primarily by sales of the Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200 and Fiat 500," said Chrysler Canada Chief Operating Officer Dave Buckingham. "We are experiencing the best start to the year in over a decade."
Sales of the Chrysler 300 jumped 281 percent to 803 vehicles, as sales of the Chrysler 200 sedan rose 38 percent to 1,192 vehicles. Fiat 500 sales rose 16 percent to 581 and Fiat 500 Cabrio sales soared 291 percent to 258 vehicles.
U.S. automakers reported a better-than-expected 22 percent jump in June sales on Tuesday. That sturdy demand, which followed disappointing May sales, put U.S. new auto sales on track for their best year since 2007.
In the first half of 2012, about 7.27 million new cars and trucks were sold in the United States, pointing to full-year sales of 14.5 million vehicles if the trend continues.
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