December 1, 2016 / 4:51 PM / 2 years ago

GM and Ford Canadian auto sales soar in November rebound

MONTREAL (Reuters) - General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co on Thursday reported double-digit rises in Canadian sales for November compared with the same period a year earlier, fueled by strong demand for SUVs and light trucks and two extra selling days.

Cars pass under an overpass at the General Motors Car assembly plant in Oshawa, June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a decline in Canadian sales, down 3 percent to 20,674 vehicles last month, compared with November 2015.

Analysts said November overall delivered a rebound in industry volumes, following a trend of weakening demand over the last three months. The month keeps Canada on track to set another record this year, with sales rising to around 1.96 million vehicles from a record-breaking 1.90 million units in 2015.

In a note to clients, Canadian autos analyst Dennis DesRosiers said auto sales hit double-digit growth during November and were up 3 percent year-to-date.

“For those claiming that 2016 had run out of steam, November 2016 light vehicle sales showed a different picture altogether as sales increased 10.4 percent year-over-year,” DesRosiers wrote on Thursday.

Scotiabank economist Carlos Gomes wrote in a note that the rebound was driven by a surge in light truck volumes, especially large SUVs and mid-size pickup trucks.

Despite November’s rebound, Gomes said he expects “Canadian passenger vehicle sales to begin to edge lower in 2017, as manufacturers raise prices due to the recent weakness of the Canadian dollar.”

GM dealers delivered 28,523 vehicles in November, up 31 percent compared with November 2015, the company said in a statement. GM Canada sales are up 2 percent year-to-date.

Ford said it sold 24,472 vehicles in November, up 18 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. Ford reported a 10 percent rise in Canadian auto sales for the first 11 months of 2016, on an annual basis.

Toyota reported 16,492 units sold in Canada last month, up 4.2 percent compared with November 2015.

In the United States, hefty consumer discounts during a robust Black Friday weekend helped boost November U.S. auto sales between 4 and 5 percent, which could catapult results this year above a record high in 2015, economists and industry analysts said on Thursday.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler

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