Ford retains Canadian auto sales crown

Wed Jan 4, 2012 5:29pm EST
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(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co of Canada (F.N: Quote) was Canada's top-selling automaker in 2011 for the second consecutive year, boosted by sales of its popular F-Series pickup truck.

Ford Canada said it sold 275,978 vehicles last year, 3 percent more than in 2010. Truck sales again made up about three-quarters of its total sales.

"Full-sized trucks are experiencing record-breaking sales in Canada," said Scott Cauvel, vice-president of sales at Ford Canada.

The F-Series was the top-selling vehicle in Canada for the second year in a row in 2011.

Ford was also Canada's leading auto seller for the month of December, selling 19,381 vehicles, a dip of 0.5 percent from a year ago.

Independent auto analyst Dennis Desrosiers noted that European brands such as BMW, (BMWG.DE: Quote) Audi and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) also gained in 2011.

"Just like how the 1990s were the decade for the Japanese and how the first decade of this century belonged to the Koreans, three years in, this decade is shaping up to be for the European brands," he wrote.

While Japanese manufacturers were hurt by last spring's earthquake and tsunami, Desrosiers said, they also struggled as other brands became more competitive, and made "serious product mistakes."

Honda Canada (7267.T: Quote) said its sales were down 12 percent in 2011, while sales at Nissan Canada (7201.T: Quote) rose 3.9 percent. In December, Toyota Canada (7203.T: Quote) said its sales rose 41.5 percent over the same month in 2010, however.   Continued...