October 1, 2015 / 4:53 PM / 3 years ago

Canada auto sales rise in September

Fiat Chrysler assembly workers work on a partially assembled minivan at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

(Reuters) - Auto sales in Canada rose 3.7 percent in September, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants on Thursday, a sign that parts of the economy are strong even though the broader Canadian economy contracted in the first half.

Total light vehicle sales rose to 174,337 cars and trucks, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and General Motors Co (GM.N) all reported higher Canadian sales for the month.

“This week Statistics Canada released a positive report on the Canadian economy that exceeded expectations,” DesRosiers wrote in a note. “September auto sales confirms that parts of our economy are indeed performing strongly.”

The data came as the major U.S. automakers reported a jump in September sales, boosted by cheap gasoline and ultra-low interest rates.

Ford sales rose 3.9 percent in Canada to 28,215 vehicles, recovering from a 5 percent year-over-year decline in August, as a 5.6 percent gain in truck sales more than offset a 3.9 percent decline in car sales.

Fiat Chrysler’s Canadian sales rose 1.1 percent to 24,007 vehicles. Ram pickup sales jumped 28.2 percent to 8,449 trucks from a year earlier, boosting the company’s truck sales, which rose 5.8 percent to 22,398 vehicles. But total car sales dropped 37.2 percent to 1,609 vehicles.

GM sales rose 2 percent to 24,960 vehicles. GM said its GMC pickup trucks were up 15 percent in September, while sales of Cadillac vehicles increased 35 percent.

Toyota Canada (7203.T) sales jumped 5.5 percent to 19,336 vehicles, boosted in part by a 44 percent increase in Lexus sales.

Honda Canada (7267.T) reported that sales rose 16 percent in September 2015 to 17,441 Honda and Acura vehicles.

Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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