Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Canadian light vehicle sales rise 7.8 per cent in August to 153,638

TORONTO (CP) - Light vehicle sales in Canada rose 7.8 per cent in August to 153,638 from 142,537 in same month a year ago, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
Sales of passenger cars improved 4.2 per cent to 82,245, while purchases of light trucks, including minivans, sport utility vehicles and pickups, grew 12.3 per cent to 71,393. "August quite frankly surprised us," Dennis DesRosiers wrote Tuesday in his monthly commentary on auto sales."August sales of 153,638 units was by a long shot the most vehicles ever purchased in August ... the previous record was August 2002 when sales were 148,100 units."
Ford of Canada (NYSE:F) clawed back market share as it sold 21,266 cars in the month, up 28.6 per cent from a year ago when it sold just 16,531. The U.S. automaker also increased its year-to-date market share to 14.7 per cent, up from 13.7 per cent in 2005.
DaimlerChrysler Canada (NYSE:DCX) also increased sales 13.1 per cent to 20,252 units.
However General Motors of Canada (NYSE:GM) sales were down 4.5 per cent from 38,766 to 37,012 in August.
Toyota Canada, meanwhile, increased sales 16.2 per cent with 17,865, up from 15,372 a year ago. Toyota's year-to-date market share also improved to 11.6 per cent from 10.3 per cent.
Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, saw its sales increase 34.9 per cent to 1,001, up from 742 a year ago.
Meanwhile, GM's market share fell 2.8 percentage points to 25.9 per cent, according to DesRosiers figures. DaimlerChrysler slipped to 13.8 per cent from 14 per cent in 2005.
Honda sales were flat at 15,579 compared with 15,578 last year with a 8.4 per cent market share. Its premium Acura brand improved to 2,238, up from 2,103 a year ago.
Volkswagen Canada sales totalled 3,623, up 12.4 per cent from a year ago, while VW's premium Audi unit booked an 4.2 per cent gain to 663.
BMW sales were up 20.5 per cent at 1,755, Mercedes-Benz was up 18.5 per cent at 1,149 and Porsche was down 1.3 per cent at 157. Among other low-volume makers, Subaru gained 10.4 per cent to 1,438, Saab was down 15.6 per cent at 248 and sales of the tiny Smart car flat at 288.

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