UPDATE 3-General Motors tops Canada auto sales in April

Fri May 1, 2015 4:47pm EDT
 
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(Recasts; adds analyst comment, national total, Ford and Honda sales)

TORONTO May 1 (Reuters) - General Motors Co jumped to the top of the Canadian sales rankings for April as it sold 15 percent more cars and trucks than a year earlier, the company said on Friday, winning a crown usually held by its rivals.

GM Canada sold 29,127 vehicles in April as sales of its GMC brand jumped 31 percent, and Cadillac sales rose 35 percent. In recent years, Ford Motor Co or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' have typically led the Canadian market.

GM said offering pickup trucks in three sizes helped it lead that market in April.

"Despite the troubling oil industry in Canada, vehicle companies reported an all-time best April in sales in the Canadian automotive history," said DesRosiers Automotive Consultants in a note to clients.

DesRosiers said total Canadian year-over-year sales rose 5.7 percent to 189,072 cars and trucks.

The news came as automakers reported strong demand in the United States in April, with General Motors and Ford both reporting better-than-expected U.S. sales.

Fiat Chrysler's sales rose 1 percent to 27,473 cars and trucks in April, boosted by Jeep sales as well as the Chrysler 200 sedan, the company said. Jeep brand sales rose 22 percent to 7,486 vehicles, while the company sold 1,761 Chrysler 200 sedans, up from 525 a year earlier.

Ford sold 27,315 vehicles, a 0.1 percent decline from April 2014, as car sales dropped 21.1 percent, offsetting a 7.7 percent gain in truck sales.

Toyota Canada sold 20,642 vehicles in April, another 0.1 percent decline, even as sales of its Lexus brand jumped 32 percent to 2,147 cars and trucks.

Honda Canada sales rose 6.5 percent growth from a year earlier, to 16,679 vehicles, boosted by strong sales for the Honda Civic, up 21 percent, and the company's trucks. (Reporting by Allison Martell; editing by Ted Botha, G Crosse and Chris Reese)