June 1, 2018 / 6:09 PM / in 7 months

Canada auto sales fall marginally in May

(Reuters) - Canada’s auto sales recorded a small dip in May as strong sales of light trucks failed to offset slowing demand for passenger cars.

Overall auto sales fell 0.7 percent in May, with passenger cars posting a 9.4 percent decline to 68,070 units, according to research firm DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

In contrast, light truck sales rose 4 percent to 147,337 units, accounting for nearly 69 percent of overall sales.

Strong performances from Chevrolet light trucks and cars, helped General Motors Co (GM.N) post a 5.4 percent rise in sales to 32,831 units.

However, rival Ford Motor Co (F.N) reported a 3.3 percent drop to 33,341 units, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU.N) sales slumped 15 percent.

The boost in May sales also helped General Motors edge out Ford for the overall sales lead on a year-to-date basis.

Canadians are spending less this year, with household spending growing just 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace since the comparable period in 2015 when the economy was hit by tumbling oil prices. (reut.rs/2J7E3KF)

“Given the current economic and political uncertainty, these sales levels remain pretty impressive,” said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada, an industry body.

May sales of new vehicles in the United States were up 2 percent, helped by low unemployment and strong consumer confidence.

Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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