TORONTO (Reuters) - Automakers in Canada enjoyed another strong sales month in October as the market moved into the home stretch of what is shaping up to be a record-breaking year.
Canadian sales rose 6.5 percent to about 154,900 vehicles, setting a same-month record for the sixth consecutive month, according to a report from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants on Monday.
In September, the Canadian market hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2 million sales for the first time, and in October it stayed above that level, analyst Dennis DesRosiers said in his report, calling the performance “stunning”.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Canadian unit led in October with 22,303 car and truck sales, up 23 percent from a year earlier. Chrysler Canada said its Jeep brand sales rose 79 percent to 5,561 vehicles, while it sold 1,800 Chrysler 200 sedans, up from 816 a year earlier.
GM Canada’s dealers sold 22,002 vehicles, up 7 percent from a year earlier, and the company said its calendar year-to-date sales were up 5.4 percent.
Ford Motor Co’s Canadian unit reported a sales decline of 2.6 percent to 22,055 units, hurt by a 9.0 percent drop in car sales and a 1.1 percent fall in truck sales. Even so, Ford remained the top seller this year to date.
The company has cut production of its popular F-150 pickup in recent months as it switches over to a redesigned aluminum-bodied model, set to go on sale later this year.
Toyota’s Canadian sales rose 2.1 percent to 17,977 vehicles, boosted by its RAV4. The sport utility vehicle’s sales rose 24.3 percent to 3,791 units. Honda Canada edged up to a new October record, rising 1 percent to 15,404 vehicles sold.
“With fuel prices declining with lower oil prices we would expect light truck sales to continue to outperform passenger car sales,” DesRosiers said in his report.
The Canadian figures came as automakers reported their strongest U.S. October sales in a decade on strong demand for pickup trucks and SUVs.
GM’s U.S. sales missed expectations, rising 0.2 percent from October 2013. The company said it is reducing fleet sales, sales to governments and businesses, of its large SUVs in order to boost profit.
Reporting by Allison Martell, Editing by Franklin Paul, Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Galloway