UPDATE 1-Ford tops Canadian auto sales in August
* Automakers post strongest Canada August auto sales ever
* Ford sales rise 7.1 percent year over year
* Chrysler up 6.6 percent, GM up 0.1 percent
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales recorded their best August ever, industry data released on Wednesday showed, with Ford Motor Co outselling Chrysler Group and General Motors Co, and Japan's largest automakers making double-digit gains.
Automakers sold 149,301 vehicles in Canada last month, a 6.5 percent rise compared with a year ago, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
Ford Canada sold the most cars in August, with sales rising 7.1 percent year over year. The Detroit automaker sold 27,268 cars and trucks in August, higher than the 25,461 it sold last August. Sales were up 1.8 percent so far this year.
The automaker sold 40.4 percent more cars last month at 6,856 vehicles. Its Ford Fiesta and Fusion models saw sales soar 84 percent and 57 percent, respectively. Truck sales fell 0.8 percent, to 20,412.
Chrysler Canada was a distant second, but still reported its best August in 13 years and its best sales year-to-date in 25 years, bolstered in part by robust passenger car sales.
The company sold 21,932 vehicles, up 6.6 percent from the 20,569 it sold in August of last year and up 7.1 percent year-to-date.
Car sales rose 15.5 percent to 3,699, while truck sales were up 5 percent at 18,233 units sold.
GM Canada saw sales nudge marginally higher in August, with 21,091 cars and trucks sold, an incremental gain of 0.1 percent. So far this year, overall sales have climbed 2.7 percent.
The company sold 6,090 passenger cars, down 5.9 percent, and sold 15,001 trucks, a 2.8 percent rise from August of last year.
Toyota Motor Corp lead the pack among the big Japanese automakers. Toyota Canada sold 17,647 vehicles in August, up a modest 0.5 percent. Overall sales this year, which includes Scion and Lexus, were up 0.9 percent, with strong truck sales offsetting a decline in passenger car sales.
Honda Canada sold 16,208 vehicles, including its Acura division, a 19 percent jump over last year's August sales. Year-to-date, overall sales have climbed 12 percent. Honda Canada is a unit of Honda Motor Co Ltd.
Nissan Canada, a unit of Nissan Motor Co Ltd, recorded its best August and sold 8,192 vehicles, a 29.4 percent jump from the comparable period last year. Nissan's year-to-date results, which include sales of its Infiniti division, were up 2.8 percent.
In the United States, sales for all automakers rose at their fastest pace in nearly six years, since just before the start of the 2007-2009 recession.