Ford Canada claims top spot for May vehicle sales
By Susan Taylor
TORONTO (Reuters) - New auto sales at both Ford Motor Co of Canada (F.N: Quote) and Chrysler Canada accelerated in May, the companies said on Friday, boosted by demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and trucks.
The numbers look stronger than expected, said Scotiabank economist Carlos Gomes, but there is some distortion in the comparison to an extremely weak month of sales a year earlier. Sales are also bouncing back from a "sluggish" April, he said.
"Nevertheless, it seems that the numbers would be coming in a little bit better than people would be expecting," Gomes said.
"Part of it might be incentives playing a factor. With Ford and Chrysler, they seem to be battling it out for the first place in the Canadian marketplace so I think that you might be seeing some incentive activity."
Ford said it ranked as Canada's top auto-seller for the month and year to date, as May sales jumped 27 percent higher than the same period last year.
Car sales rose 30.5 percent, with increases from Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Taurus, while truck sales jumped nearly 26 percent. Overall vehicle sales rose to 32,338 for the month from 25,448 in the same period last year.
"May was a good growth month for Ford of Canada, with strong sales across the entire lineup of cars, utilities and trucks," said Ford of Canada chief executive Dianne Craig.
Total vehicle sales year-to-date are up 4.3 percent over the same period in 2011, Ford said. Car sales in that period have climbed 8.6 percent, while truck sales rose 2.9 percent. Continued...