Canadian August auto sales set all-time record

Wed Sep 3, 2014 5:49pm EDT
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales raced to an all-time record in August as consumers in the country's most populous province rushed back into the market, helping fuel a 7.9 percent jump in new vehicle sales, an independent industry analyst said on Wednesday.

Strong demand in Ontario and parts of western Canada drove industry sales of 171,560 new vehicles in the month of August, up from 159,004 a year ago, said Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

A 14 percent jump in truck sales offset essentially flat car sales.

Canada's "hot" auto market has set five monthly sales records this year, DesRosiers said in a report, with year-to-date sales up a "spectacular" 4.6 percent at 1,256,649 vehicles.

In the United States, August sales were the highest for that month in more than a decade, helped by heavy discounting from manufacturers and a strong Labor Day weekend close, as the industry sold at an annualized pace not seen since early 2006.

U.S. August sales rose 5.4 percent from a year ago to 1,583,476 vehicles, according to a Reuters analysis.

Canada's top seller in August was Ford Motor Co of Canada Ltd (F.N: Quote) which maintained leadership for a fifth consecutive month.

Total sales rose 2.6 percent to 27,988 vehicles. Truck sales climbed 10.4 percent, to 22,539 vehicles, offsetting a 20.5 percent drop in car sales, to 5,449 vehicles.   Continued...

A partially assembled Chrysler minivan works its way down the assembly line during the production launch of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan's and Chrysler Town & Country minivans at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario January 18, 2011.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook