August 4, 2015 / 4:49 PM / 4 years ago

Canada auto sales edge up in July, Ford and GM down

A woman walks past a logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in Turin March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales rose 0.4 percent in July from a year earlier but some major automakers, including Ford Motor Co (F.N) and General Motors Co (GM.N) saw sales decline, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants on Tuesday.

Light vehicle sales rose to 177,844 cars and trucks from 177,108 a year earlier, setting a new July sales record.

U.S. auto sales topped expectations in July, keeping the industry on pace for its best performance since the turn of the century. But a drop in the price of oil CLc1 LCOc1 has hurt the Canadian economy. Data released on Friday showed that GDP shrank for a fifth consecutive month in May.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCHA.MI) Canadian unit extended its sales lead over Ford in July, as sales rose 2.2 percent to 28,611 vehicles. Growth in truck sales more than offset a decline in car sales, boosted in part by its Jeep brand. Jeep sales jumped 21 percent.

Ford’s Canadian sales fell 6.0 percent to 27,182 vehicles, as truck sales dropped 8.2 percent from a year earlier. Chief Executive Dianne Craig said sales are “on track with the overall business strategy.”

GM Canada sales dropped 4.8 percent to 22,826 vehicles as car sales dropped 12.4 percent and truck sales declined 1.9 percent. The company said sales slowed after a strong performance in June.

Toyota Canada (7203.T) sold 18,344 vehicles, up 1.7 percent, as a sharp increase in sales of sport utility vehicles boosted results at Lexus. Lexus sales rose 30.4 percent to 1,863 cars and trucks.

Honda Canada (7267.T) sales jumped 10 percent to 17,599 vehicles. Sales rose 38.6 percent at its Acura division, boosted in part by its TLX sedan.

Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish

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