Strong truck demand offsets sliding Canadian car sales

Mon Mar 3, 2014 5:23pm EST
 
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales chugged 2.4 percent higher in February as record-setting truck sales helped offset slumping demand for cars and severe winter weather, an independent auto industry analyst said on Monday.

Auto sales in the country climbed to 105,693 vehicles, marking the third-best February since 2007 and signaling a "steady as she goes" sector recovery, said Dennis DesRosiers, of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

Truck sales accelerated to 64,579 vehicles in February, from 58,867 last year, while car sales fell to 41,114 vehicles, from 44,359, he wrote.

"Trucks overall continued to grow their sales with a 9.7 percent increase in February. Passenger cars, on the other hand, saw a 7.3 percent decline in unit sales during the month," he wrote.

"Chrysler continued to build on its market lead, selling ... more than 2,000 units ahead of second placed Ford."

Chrysler Canada, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FIA.MI, posted a 10 percent jump in monthly sales to 18,522 vehicles, marking its fifty-first consecutive month of year-over-year growth.

Truck sales soared 16.5 percent to 16,352 vehicles, with record volumes for the Ram pickup, Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town & Country van, the company said, while car sales slumped 22 percent to 2,170 vehicles.

Ford Motor Co of Canada (F.N: Quote) said sales slipped 0.4 percent in February to 16,234 vehicles from 16,301 in the same period last year, as growing demand for trucks failed to outweigh the sharp drop in car sales.   Continued...

 
Chrysler Canada's Brampton Assembly plant is seen April 30, 2008. REUTERS/Peter Jones