May 2, 2017 / 8:24 PM / in 7 months

UPDATE 1-Ford, GM report higher Canadian sales for April

(Adds data for Ford, analyst’s comment, U.S. context)

By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL, May 2 (Reuters) - General Motors Co and Ford on Tuesday reported higher April sales in Canada, fueled by growing demand for light trucks and crossovers, while Fiat Chrysler said its sales decreased on an annual basis.

Total Canadian auto sales declined for the first time this year in April by 1.6 percent, following a “record breaking first quarter,” auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers wrote on Tuesday in a note to clients.

GM reported the sale of 30,948 total vehicles last month in Canada, an increase of 16 per cent, compared with the same month a year earlier, and the best April on record since 2008, the company said in a statement.

Ford said it sold 30,401 vehicles in Canada last month, up 0.2 percent from April 2016.

Fiat Chrysler, however, reported April sales in Canada of 27,373 vehicles, down 9 percent, compared with the same month a year earlier.

Canadian auto sales hit record highs in 2016 with the sale of around 1.95 million vehicles because of higher consumer demand for pickups and SUVs. In an April report, Scotiabank senior economist Carlos Gomes wrote he is expecting Canadian auto sales to decline slightly in 2017, to around 1.94 million units.

In the United States, GM, Ford and Toyota Motor Corp -- the country’s top three automakers -- on Tuesday all posted lower new vehicle sales in April in a fresh sign the long boom cycle for the auto industry is losing steam. (Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sandra Maler)

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