TORONTO (Reuters) - Ford Canada and Chrysler Canada posted stronger July vehicle sales from a year earlier on Wednesday, as sturdy customer demand for trucks more than offset a sharp decline in car sales.
Ford Canada claimed top-seller status for the month and year to date, with total July vehicle sales rising 2.2 percent to 27,940 vehicles and January-July sales up 1.4 percent to 170,098 vehicles.
Truck sales in July jumped 11.2 percent to 21,322 vehicles from 19,182, but car sales slumped 19 percent to 6,618 vehicles from 8,162.
Sales were powered by a 7 percent sales increase for the Ford Fiesta, an 18 percent gain for the Explorer and 20 percent jump for its F-Series, the company said.
Chrysler Canada said its July vehicle sales rose 3 percent to 24,162 vehicles from 23,385 in the same month last year. Year-to-date, sales were up 7 percent to 154,448 vehicles, its best performance since 2000.
Car sales declined 9 percent to 3,430 vehicles, but truck sales climbed 5.7 percent to 20,732 vehicles.
"With our fuel efficient, affordable and stylish Dodge Dart compact car just starting to land on Canadian soil, we are confident we will be able to strengthen the car side of our business," said David Buckingham, chief operating officer at the Chrysler Canada.
Sales of Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, the third-highest selling vehicle in Canada, jumped 20 percent to 5,222 in July.
Ram pickup sales rose 3 percent to 6,515 and Jeep Wrangler sales climbed 16 percent 2,205, said the company, whose U.S. parent is controlled by Italy's Fiat.
All three U.S. automakers reported lower-than-expected July auto sales on Wednesday, as high U.S. unemployment and weak consumer confidence kept buyers on the sidelines.
Reporting By Susan Taylor