* Chrysler Canada car sales surge 43 pct in April
* Ford Canada sales fall 5.4 pct, but car sales up 5 pct
May 1 High gas prices again pushed Canadians to
seek out fuel-efficient cars in April, allowing Chrysler to
continue its strong sales performance this year.
Chrysler Canada said its sales rose 3 percent to
24,540 in April, its 29th consecutive month of sales increases,
helped by a 43 percent surge in car sales to 5,283. Sales of
trucks, heavier users of gas, increased 3.7 percent to 19,257.
"Our highly fuel-efficient new product is definitely giving
our sales results a shot of adrenalin. After four months, we are
off to the best start we have had in a decade," said Dave
Buckingham, chief operating officer at Chrysler Canada.
Chrysler's sales are benefiting from the launch of smaller,
European-styled cars designed by Fiat SpA, its owner. It said it
has sold more vehicles than any other company in Canada so far
"With gas prices hitting record highs last month, we saw an
increasing number of Canadian consumers choosing cars," said
Dianne Craig, chief executive of Ford Motor Co's Canadian
Ford Canada vehicle sales fell 5.4 percent in April but car
sales were 5.1 percent higher at 6,904. Truck sales slid 9
percent to 17,267.
In the United States, General Motors Co and Ford
Motor Co both reported a smaller-than-expected decline in new
vehicle sales in April. GM, the biggest U.S. automaker, raised
its full-year forecast for the industry due to a strengthening