Canada auto sales a mixed bag in May, Ford on top

* Sales inch up 0.2 percent in May over last year

* Ford sales up 19.3 pct, Chrysler up 52.9 pct

* GM down 18 pct, Toyota down 16.1 pct, Honda down 26 pct

TORONTO, June 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadian auto sales rose a
paltry 0.2 percent in May and they would have been in the red
had it not been for a few strong performers, industry figures
showed on Tuesday.

The Canadian arms of Ford Motor Co (F.N: ), Chrysler, and
Hyundai (005380.KS: ) had strong results, while General Motors Co
[GM.UL], Toyota Motor Co (7203.T: ) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T: )
all saw sales slump, echoing a month earlier.

Canadians bought 154,285 vehicles in May, barely above the
level from a year earlier when the auto industry was on the
verge of collapse, according to data from DesRosiers Automotive
Consultants Inc.

Ford Canada took the No. 1 sales spot, selling 26,122
vehicles in April, up 19.3 percent from a year earlier. Car
sales slipped 3.7 percent, while trucks surged 28.9 percent.

Chrysler’s Canadian sales rose 52.9 percent from a year
earlier when the automaker’s very survival was in question and
it had filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection.

It sold 20,887 units, with car sales up 56.8 percent and
truck sales up 52 percent.

GM said it sold 20,862 vehicles in the month, down 18
percent from a year earlier.

The company is trying to realign itself, culling four
nameplates and focusing on four “core brands”. Including only
sales of those core brands, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac,
and not including fleet sales, GM said its April sales were up
15.4 percent, helped by aggressive incentives.

The automaker also said on Tuesday that it would invest
C$245 million ($233 million) to expand its St. Catharines,
Ontario, plant to build fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions.
[ID:nN01240124]

Sales at Toyota Canada fell 16.1 percent to 17,879 units.
The automaker’s Toyota division reported a 16.6 percent
decline, while its luxury Lexus brand fell 10.6 percent. The
figures were similar to last month’s.

Toyota has been reeling in the wake of safety recalls
involving more than 9 million vehicles globally.

Honda Canada, which has stayed away from the steep
incentives that the other automakers have been offering, saw
sales tumble 26 percent to 11,587 vehicles. Sales in the Honda
division dropped 28 percent, while the Acura division slid 5
percent year-on-year.

Hyundai Canada recorded monthly sales of 12,620 vehicles,
which was up 12.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the
company’s second consecutive best-ever monthly Canadian sales
tally.

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($1=$1.05 Canadian)
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada auto sales a mixed bag in May, Ford on top