February 1, 2012 / 4:43 PM / in 6 years

Chrysler says No. 1 in Canadian sales in January

(Reuters) - Chrysler Canada FIA.MI said on Wednesday it was the country’s top-selling automaker in January with sales of its fuel-efficient passenger vehicles doubling.

Chrysler, which was No. 3 in sales last year, has increased its market share steadily since emerging from bankruptcy 2-1/2 years ago. It said it sold 16,584 vehicles in January, up 22 percent from January 2011.

“We have been the fastest growing automaker in Canada for the past two years, and it is great to start 2012 as the highest-selling vehicle company in Canada,” Dave Buckingham, chief operating Officer at Chrysler Canada, said in a statement.

Chrysler, whose strength in Canada has traditionally been its trucks, said its passenger car sales in January were led by the made-in-Canada Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger.

Ford Motor Co F.N was Canada’s top-selling automaker in 2011 followed by General Motors GM.N.

A lackluster vehicle lineup and an untenable cost structure pushed Chrysler to the brink of collapse before the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments bailed it out in 2009. Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy under the management control of Italian automaker Fiat SpA.

Reporting By Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway

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