Canada auto sales near 3-yr high in summer-report

* Auto sales rise in June and July from May

* Job creation, incentives credited for gains

* Scotia Economics ups 2010 auto forecast to 1.57 mln

TORONTO, Aug 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadian auto sales rose to
their highest level in nearly three years this summer on the
back of rebounding employment levels and steep incentives from
automakers, according to a report by Scotia Economics.

Car and light truck sales rose to an annualized 1.62
million vehicles in June and July, from 1.48 million in May,
the report said.

Sales came in at 1.46 million vehicles last year when the
global auto industry suffered one of its biggest-ever declines
amid the recession.

Scotia said it expects Canadian auto sales of 1.57 million
in 2010 — up from an earlier estimate of 1.53 million — and
1.59 million in 2011, in line with the average of the last
decade.

The rising Canadian numbers diverged from a global trend
which saw July auto sales fall below year-ago levels, after a
big surge earlier in 2010.

Carlos Gomes, senior economist at Scotia Economics and
author of the report, said the global slowdown was largely due
to a double-digit decline in Western Europe following the end
of scrappage incentives.

“However, outside of Europe, purchases have also started to
moderate, with volumes advancing year-over-year by only 9
percent last month — the smallest gain since last summer,” he
said in a release.

In Canada, sales were aided by stronger than expected job
creation in recent months, as well as higher incentives by most
automakers, the report said.

Gomes said he expects the pace of Canadian sales to ease
going forward as manufacturers scale back on incentives, which
they have already done in the United States.

Major automakers are expected to release their Canadian
sales figures for August on Wednesday.
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada auto sales near 3-yr high in summer-report