Canada's August auto sales up 6.9 percent

(Reuters) - Canadian auto sales rose 6.9 percent in August, according to data released on Tuesday, as the industry benefited from a robust economy and rising consumer confidence.

The General Motors CAMI car assembly plant sits behind rows of new GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Geoff Robins

In a strong finish to the summer, about 183,945 units were sold last month in the country, a report from Global Automakers of Canada showed.

That number raises the year-to-date total units sold to 1.40 million, a gain of 5.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Canadian automotive research firm DesRosiers.(

“August was another tremendous month for the automotive industry generally,” GAC President David Adams wrote in the report.

“Unless we hit some unexpected economic turbulence, it seems reasonable that Canada will achieve another new sales record in 2017.”

In contrast, automakers reported a 1.9 percent fall in U.S. sales in August.

Auto sales typically track macro indicators such as employment and economic growth. Canada’s economy grew at its best pace in nearly six years in the second quarter helped by robust consumer spending and strong energy exports.

Sales of trucks, which tend to rise when the economy is growing, made for 68 percent of overall sales, according to GAC’s report.

General Motors Co GM.N said Canadian vehicle sales rose 28.5 percent in August from a year earlier, the eighth straight monthly increase.

The company has so far this year sold 205,329 vehicles in the region, up 18 percent. (

Ford F.N said it sold 2,299 units in August, which was a 5.8 percent decline from a year earlier.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCHA.MI, FCAU.N, maker of Dodge and Chrysler vehicles, posted a 9 percent drop in Canadian sales in the month. They had declined 3 percent in July.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Arun Koyyur