Ford Canada March auto sales get fuel-efficient lift

* Ford car sales jump 30.5 pct, truck sales up 11.9 pct

* Hyundai vehicle sales rise 6 pct

OTTAWA, April 1 (Reuters) – Auto sales at Ford Motor Co of
Canada Ltd (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 15.9 percent in March, lifted by strong
demand for fuel-efficient vehicles amid soaring oil prices, the
company said on Friday.

Ford’s car sales jumped 30.5 percent to 6,205 units while
truck sales rose 11.9 percent to 19,321.

“We knew that as fuel prices rose, consumers would shift
their spending to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles,” said
David Mondragon, Ford Canada’s president and chief executive.

“We have been forecasting higher demand for fuel-efficient
vehicles for some time now and this month marks the start of a
new trend in Canada with consumers choosing a more balanced mix
of cars.”

The results contrast with a 10.3 percent decline in vehicle
sales in February, as gas-thirsty truck sales slumped.

Separately, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) said on
Friday that vehicle sales rose 6 percent in March, to a record
11,668 units. It also said the increase was driven by consumer
demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has
been pushing oil prices higher. U.S. crude futures dipped
slightly on Friday due to swelling inventories, but still held
firm above $100 a barrel.
(Reporting by Susan Taylor; reporting by Rob Wilson)

Ford Canada March auto sales get fuel-efficient lift