Auto sales in Canada dropped 0.7% in March, the fourth consecutive month of declines, but new vehicle sales almost reached new record.
The best-seller for March was Ford Canada, helped by an increase in demand for its pick-up trucks, up 1.6%, followed by Chrysler which saw an increase of 6.5%. GM on the other hand fell almost 11%. Toyota dropped 6.2%, Honda fell 0.6% and Hyundai’s sales dropped 4.7%. Total auto sales in Canada last month reached 156,680 vehicles, a decrease form 157,749 vehicles sold in March 2012, an all-time record. Car sales dropped 4.7% to 70,217 units, while truck sales increased 2.8% to 86, 473 units.
“These are not bad numbers at all,” said Tony Faria, an auto industry expert at the University of Windsor in Ontario. “We’re running right along the best year we ever had (in 2002). We may fall slightly short of it for the full year, we may come in slightly ahead.”
Year-to-date Chrysler increased 16.3% from 15.3% last year, Ford increased 16.2% from 15.2% in 2012, while GM continued to fall to 13.5% from 13.8%. Luxury automakers from Europe continued to increase, with Porsche up 33.5% and Land Rover up 26.6%.
Ford Canada reported sales up to 25,092 vehicles (24,690 units last year), thanks to a 2.8% gain in truck sales which made up for the 1.8% drop in car sales. Chrysler reached 24,173 vehicles from 22,703 units last year, with a 20% increase in car sales and 3.2% increase for truck sales.