May 3, 2016 / 3:57 PM / a year ago

Most automakers report higher April Canadian sales

A Ford logo is pictured at a store of the automaker, in Mexico City, Mexico, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on Tuesday reported double-digit growth in Canadian auto sales in April, fueled by growing demand for trucks in a market expected to again break records in 2016.

General Motors Co (GM.N), however, reported a decline in sales in April. GM said its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers delivered 26,596 vehicles in April, down 9 percent compared with the same month in 2015.

With total Canadian sales of 200,327 vehicles, the April results broke a record for any month of the year, Ontario-based automotive consultant Dennis DesRosiers said.

“Never in the history of the automotive sector have Canadians bought more than 200,000 light vehicles in a month,” DesRosiers said in a note to clients. “This brings sales year-to-date to 603,000 units, also a record.”

But DesRosiers cautioned that the year-to-date sales may appear stronger than they really are because the comparison to last year includes a “somewhat soft” first quarter.

“We do not believe this pace will hold for the rest of the year, but with such a great first four months Canada is heading towards another record sales year and should break the record of 1.9 million light vehicle sales set just last year,” he wrote.

Fiat Chrysler reported sales of 30,108 vehicles in Canada last month, up 10 percent compared with April 2015.

“We are off to the best sales start in our history,” Dave Buckingham, chief operating officer for Fiat Chrysler Canada, said in a statement.

Ford said its sales grew 11 percent, to 30,327 vehicles, even as customer demand declined for sedans.

Toyota reported sales of 23,822 Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles in April, up 15 percent compared with the same month in 2015.

The data was not adjusted for a difference in selling days. April 2016 had 27 selling days compared with 25 selling days in April 2015.

Other automakers also reported record Canadian sales for the month, with Subaru’s Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (7270.T) retailing 5,087 vehicles in April, up 3.8 percent compared with the same month in 2015.

In the United States, auto sales were on course to reach a new high for the month of April on Tuesday. But shares of automakers were pressured on concerns the cyclical industry may be hitting a peak and luxury sedan sales were slowing.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler

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