By Solarina Ho
TORONTO Oct 1 Automakers sold a record number
of cars in Canada last month and pushed total vehicle sales
year-to-date to a new record, according to industry data
released on Tuesday, with Ford Motor Co's Canadian unit
outselling all its competitors.
September auto sales beat the previous record by a sizable
margin, climbing 4.2 percent to 149,092, even as several major
automakers underperformed the industry. Total sales so far this
year climbed 3.5 percent to 1,350,756, also a record.
"With any sort of decent market performance during the last
three months total sales in Canada should beat the all-time
record recorded in 2002 of 1.703 million units," wrote
independent auto industry expert Dennis DesRosiers, of
DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
"We are currently tracking at 30K units above this level."
Ford Canada, which leads in industry sales so far this year
with a 2.7 percent rise to 225,112, said sales surged 10 percent
last month to 25,956. This was the second best September on
record for the maker of the Ford Focus.
Car sales jumped 14.5 percent to 5,719, with the new Fiesta
model seeing a 64 percent sales increase. Fusion sales rose 20
percent. Ford truck sales gained 8.8 percent to 20,237.
Chrysler Group's Canadian arm extended its
year-over-year sales growth streak last month, selling the most
cars for that month in 13 years, but underperformed the
The automaker sold 19,858 vehicles last month, 1.5 percent
more than in the same period last year. Year to date, total
sales were up 6.5 percent.
Car sales edged up 0.4 percent to 3,616, while truck sales
rose 1.8 percent to 16,242. Several Chrysler models posted sales
declines, but an increase in Dodge car and Chrysler truck models
helped offset the drops.
In contrast to this month's record industry sales, General
Motors Co in Canada posted a 2.6 percent decline during
the month to 18,270. Year-to-date, GM Canada was still tracking
2.1 percent growth in vehicle sales.
The Detroit automaker took the biggest hit in the passenger
car category, stumbling 7.6 percent to 5,465. Truck sales eased
0.3 percent to 12,805.
Toyota Canada reported record sales for its cars,
trucks and Lexus luxury unit, bolstered in part by new models of
the Canadian-built Corolla and RAV4. September sales gained 2.6
percent to 17,268 cars and trucks sold.
Sales for Honda's Canadian arm outperformed the
broader market, advancing 8 percent from a year ago to 13,964 as
sales of its Fit and Accord models doubled from September 2012.
Total sales are up 11.2 percent so far this year to 121,890
DesRosiers noted that some of the best performers were from
the smaller and mid-sized vehicles brands, like Jaguar
, Land Rover and Subaru.
In the United States, consumer demand for new vehicles
cooled slightly, as expected, with Ford topping analysts'
expectations and GM falling short. It was the industry's first
year-on-year sales decline in more than two years.
The annual U.S. auto sales rate was 15.28 million vehicles,
the slowest since April and down considerably from 16.09 million
in August, but close to what many analysts had expected. Overall
U.S. auto sales fell 4.2 percent in September to 1.14 million
vehicles, according to industry research firm Autodata.