August 1, 2017 / 5:24 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-GM Canada sales up 22 pct in July, Fiat Chrysler slips

Aug 1 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Tuesday it sold 25,852 vehicles in July in Canada, up 22 percent from a year earlier - a striking contrast to the company’s performance in its home market.

The company said it sold 131,000 units to date in Canada, up 16 percent over the same period last year.

In the United States, GM sales dropped 15 percent to 226,107 from a year earlier as the company cut sales to daily rental fleet by more than 80 percent.

Fiat Chrysler posted a 3 percent drop in monthly sales in Canada, as its Dodge and Chrysler brands weighed on sales. The drop was lower than the 7 percent decline in June.

The company, however, said Jeep sales came in at 9,842 units for July - the highest monthly total in Canada in 75 years.

Auto sales indicate larger trends like employment and economic growth in a country. Canadian auto sales have been growing with the country’s economy performing better than expected.

Canada’s economy grew by 0.6 percent in May from a month earlier, Statistics Canada said last month, exceeding economists’ forecasts for 0.2 percent.

“Driven by our enormous success with our crossover portfolio, it is like we have sold an extra months’ worth of retail sales so far this year,” John Roth, vice president of sales, service and marketing at GM Canada said in a statement.

Analysts expect auto sales to hit a new record high of 2 million units in 2017, according to analysts at Scotia Bank. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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