Imports push Canada June vehicle sales higher

Wed Jul 4, 2012 5:47pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Vehicle sales in Canada rose nearly 3 percent in June from a powerhouse month the year before, when industry incentives helped spark a rush of demand.

Lifted by a strong appetite for import brands, sales of cars and light trucks in Canada rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 169,459 vehicles, according to data compiled by independent automotive analyst Dennis DesRosiers and released on Wednesday.

Sales of imports increased nearly 16 percent last month, while Canadian sales of General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler nameplates fell 9.2 percent, according to DesRosiers.

The comparison was with a very strong June in 2011.

"Last June was the strongest month of the year. We had weak results last May and then the industry boosted incentives during the month of June," said Scotiabank economist Carlos Gomes, who was expecting flat year-over-year sales.

Ford Canada said it was the country's top-selling automaker this June and year-to-date, despite an 8.7 percent decline in monthly vehicle sales.

The company said total sales declined to 30,543 vehicles from 33,450 in June 2011, as car sales dropped 12.4 percent and truck sales declined 6.9 percent.

"Coming off a 23-year sales record last June, Ford of Canada still had a very positive month closing at number one," said Chief Executive Dianne Craig.

Ford Canada's year-to-date sales were up 1.3 percent at 142,181 vehicles, reflecting a 2.8 percent jump in car sales and 0.7 percent increase in truck sales.   Continued...