Chrysler Canada's April sales up 6 pct, led by increase in trucks

Thu May 1, 2014 12:08pm EDT
 
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TORONTO May 1 (Reuters) - Chrysler Canada said on Thursday that its total vehicle sales climbed 6 percent in April, as a surge in demand for trucks more than offset slumping car sales, and it remained the country's top-selling auto company.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said total vehicle sales climbed to 27,212 vehicles. Truck sales rose 22 percent to 24,229 vehicles, while auto sales tumbled 49 percent to 2,983 vehicles.

"This month's results marked the best April sales on record at Chrysler Canada in the last quarter of a century," Chief Operating Officer Dave Buckingham said in a statement. "Leading the pack are our Jeep and Ram products."

The gains, which represent a 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year growth, include monthly sales records for Chrysler's Jeep and Ram branded vehicles, including Jeep Wrangler and Ram trucks, the company said.

Dodge and Chrysler minivans, produced in Windsor, Ontario, had a double-digit April sales increase for a combined 5,988 vehicles.

So far this year, Chrysler Canada truck sales have gained 14.1 percent to 76,784 vehicles, while auto demand has dropped 31.4 percent, to 11,297 vehicles. Total sales are up 5.2 percent at 88,081.

The U.S. auto industry rebounded sharply in April from a bitter and extended winter, with four of the top six automakers reporting year-over-year gains in sales on Thursday.

Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co all topped analysts' expectations with double-digit sales increases. General Motors Co also beat expectations, with a 7 percent uptick. Ford Motor Co missed estimates, with a decline of 1.0 percent.

(Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Leslie Adler)