Fiat Chrysler's Canadian sales rise in 2015

Tue Jan 5, 2016 12:24pm EST
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MONTREAL Jan 5 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Tuesday its Canadian sales rose 2 percent to 21,961 vehicles in December from the same month a year earlier, as forecasters expect automakers to report record-breaking Canadian sales in 2015.

FCA Canada also announced full-year sales for 2015 of 293,061 vehicles, compared with 290,004 in 2014, driven by demand for its Jeep and Ram brands.

In a statement, David Buckingham, FCA Canada's chief operating officer said "2015 marked our best sales volume in our 90-year history."

The Canadian numbers come as automakers on Tuesday reported strong U.S. sales in December, indicating that 2015 would smash records, with most forecasters predicting the new year will be even better. {nL1N14P0QE}

Canadian automotive analyst Dennis DesRosiers predicted Monday that 2015 auto sales in Canada 2015 would break records for the third year in a row.

He said automakers are expected to sell around 1.9 million light vehicles in Canada, up from just over 1.8 million in 2014, as cheaper gas and increased demand in the country's largest two provinces, Quebec and Ontario, offset weakness in Alberta caused by sinking oil prices.

"And we expect more of the same this year so there is an excellent chance of sales growth in 2016," DesRosiers wrote in an email. (Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by David Gregorio)