November 3, 2015 / 5:18 PM / 3 years ago

Canadian auto sales headed for record year: consultant

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales beat expectations in October, rising 5.1 percent compared with a record-setting October 2014, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants on Tuesday.

Total light vehicle sales rose to 163,053 cars and trucks, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co reported higher Canadian sales for the month.

Ford Motor Co reported roughly flat Canadian vehicle sales in October.

“As we continue to close in on year end, setting a record year in 2015 is looking less like a possibility and more like a reality,” DesRosiers wrote in a note.

The data came as the U.S. auto industry is on track for a record year of annual sales, General Motors said on Tuesday. The top U.S. automaker and its rivals reported October sales that far exceeded expectations despite concerns about a slowdown in consumer spending and stagnant wages.

In Canada, sales of most luxury brands hit double-digit growth, with Porsche AG reporting a 45.4 percent rise for the month in comparison with October 2014, DesRosiers wrote.

Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) reported 8.3 percent higher sales in Canada for the month despite the diesel emissions scandal which continues to rock the European carmaker, DesRosiers wrote. On Tuesday, Volkswagen said it found data “inconsistencies” on carbon dioxide emissions for 800,000 more cars.

GM Canada said its October sales under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands rose 5.5 percent to 23,268 vehicles. The data was not adjusted to take into account an extra selling day in October 2015 compared with 2014, GM noted.

Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd reported a 0.1 percent rise in October sales to 22,088 vehicles.

Toyota Canada said October sales rose 6.7 percent to 19,174 vehicles, compared with last year.

Honda Canada Inc said demand for its light trucks drove sales up 10 percent in October to 16,923 vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler’s FCA Canada Inc said its sales rose 0.4 percent to 22,384 vehicles in October, compared with the same month in 2014.

“As we head into the final months of 2015, we are on track to reach our highest annual sales levels ever,” Dave

Buckingham, FCA Canada’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Matthew Lewis and James Dalgleish

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