GM Canada market share hits historical low, analyst

Thu Dec 1, 2011 6:42pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - General Motors market share in Canada hit an historical low in November, an analyst said, as figures on Thursday showed its sales fell 14.2 percent.

Ford Motor Co's Canadian sales also fell but it remained the top-selling brand in the country.

GM sold 17,951 units in the month as it lost traction in both car and truck sales.

"General Motors fell below 15 percent market share for, we believe, the first time in 100 years," said independent auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers. "General Motors is struggling."

Ford's combined car and truck sales skid 1.5 percent to 18,103 units on a 14 percent tumble in car sales. The Focus remained the company's most popular car, while the F-Series truck topped overall vehicle sales.

The numbers were rosier for Chrysler. Combined sales rose 6.1 percent to 16,244 units as a drop in truck sales was outweighed by a doubling of car sales.

"Chrysler, surprising, the company that everybody thought should fail, is the darling of Detroit. Sales consistently up, month-over-month, really solid sales to date," DesRosiers said.

He added that sales of imported cars rose year-over-year, with European makers such as BMW, Audi and Volkswagen gaining traction in Canada.

Honda Canada's overall sales rose 16 percent to 12,655, while Toyota's sales rose 19.6 percent to 12,990 units. The Japanese automaker said hybrid vehicle sales more than doubled year-over-year.

Year to date, total auto sales in Canada have risen slightly from 2010, though analysts said the market remains relatively stagnant.

(Reporting By Julie Gordon; editing by Peter Galloway)