Canada Auto Sales Drop 2.2% in January, Still Detroit Three End the Month Strong image

Last month auto sales in Canada dropped 2.2%, mainly due to weak demand in Europe.

If Toyota and Audi saw their sales in Canada fall, the Detroit Three automakers increased thanks to their fuel-efficient passenger vehicles. In January automakers sold 95,306 vehicles in Canada, down from 97,497 in January 2012, when Japanese automakers managed to rebound from the natural disasters which hit Japan and Thailand in 2011.

“The Detroit Three enjoyed a great month, growing their combined market share from 45.6 percent to 49.2 percent,” independent industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers said.

Analysts expect auto sales in Canada to continue to increase this year and even surpass the record 1.7 million vehicles sold in 2002. Chrysler Canada was the no.1 automaker in sales with 17,013 units sold, up 2.6%, surpassing Ford of Canada. Chrysler’s sales of cars were up 1.5% to 2,566 units, while the truck sales reached 14,447 units, an increase of 2.8%.

Ford of Canada, which got the second place, sold 16,197 units, up 8.1%, reporting its best January over the past 10 years. Ford’s car sales were up 24% to 3,634 units, while the truck sales were up 4.3% to 12,563 units. GM of Canada got the third place with 13,716 vehicles sold, up 6.2%, thanks to an increase of 40% in compact car sales. Toyota Canada sold 9,438 vehicles, a drop of 11.5%, due to a shortage inventory of the RAV4 before the launch this month of the all-new 2013 RAV4.