May 1, 2018 / 5:36 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 2-Canada auto sales fall 2.7 pct in April

(Adds details from Ford, background and industry comment)

By John Benny

May 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s auto sales fell 2.7 percent in April due to weak demand for passenger cars, according to industry data released on Tuesday. Research firm DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said number of passenger cars sold fell 12.4 percent in the month to 58,083 vehicles with Fiat Chrysler and General Motors recording a drop in overall sales.

In contrast, number of light trucks sold in Canada rose 2.2 percent.

“Despite the market’s orientation towards light-duty trucks, we still saw lower sales – and in some cases significantly lower sales – at each of the Detroit-based companies, which is somewhat counter-intuitive,” said David Adams, President of the Global Automakers of Canada.

“The weather in April has been decidedly cool across most of the country – perhaps delaying the traditional spring market a bit.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Canadian unit said its total vehicle sales fell 16 percent in April from a year earlier, hurt by a steep decline in demand for its Ram Truck Brand from a year earlier.

A bulk of the company’s vehicle business came from a more than 200 percent rise in the number of Alfa Romeo cars sold. Jeep SUV and crossover sales also rose 5 percent.

Ford Canada’s total sales fell 1.2 percent to 30,045 vehicles.

Rival General Motors said its total vehicle sales in Canada fell 4.6 percent to 29,537 vehicles, hurt by a 6.3 percent fall in Chevrolet sales. (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta)

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