UPDATE 1-Ford leads record Canadian auto sales; GM sales slide

Tue Oct 1, 2013 5:24pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO Oct 1 (Reuters) - Automakers sold a record number of cars in Canada last month and pushed total vehicle sales year-to-date to a new record, according to industry data released on Tuesday, with Ford Motor Co's Canadian unit outselling all its competitors.

September auto sales beat the previous record by a sizable margin, climbing 4.2 percent to 149,092, even as several major automakers underperformed the industry. Total sales so far this year climbed 3.5 percent to 1,350,756, also a record.

"With any sort of decent market performance during the last three months total sales in Canada should beat the all-time record recorded in 2002 of 1.703 million units," wrote independent auto industry expert Dennis DesRosiers, of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

"We are currently tracking at 30K units above this level."

Ford Canada, which leads in industry sales so far this year with a 2.7 percent rise to 225,112, said sales surged 10 percent last month to 25,956. This was the second best September on record for the maker of the Ford Focus.

Car sales jumped 14.5 percent to 5,719, with the new Fiesta model seeing a 64 percent sales increase. Fusion sales rose 20 percent. Ford truck sales gained 8.8 percent to 20,237.

Chrysler Group's Canadian arm extended its year-over-year sales growth streak last month, selling the most cars for that month in 13 years, but underperformed the industry.   Continued...