UPDATE 1-Ford Canada sales rise 8 pct to hold No. 1 spot

* Ford leads market year to date, sells 19,664 in October

* Toyota Canada sales drop 22.7 percent

* Total Canada sales seen up 1.4 pct
(Adds Chrysler sales, analyst’s note)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Car and truck sales at Ford of
Canada (F.N: ) rose 8 percent in October, maintaining the
company’s market-leading position as rivals General Motors of
Canada [GM.UL] and Toyota Canada (7203.T: ) lost ground.

Ford sold 19,664 vehicles in Canada for its best October
since 1999, it said. The performance was driven by an 18
percent rise in sales of both cars and crossover utility
vehicles, while truck sales edged up 5 percent.

“We’re focused on delivering more cars and crossovers with
the best fuel economy in the industry,” Ford Canada Chief
Executive David Mondragon said in a statement.

“This approach is attracting new customers to Ford.”

For the year, Ford Canada’s sales are up 20 percent,
putting it in a position to wrest the top spot in yearly sales
away from traditional leader GM.

Ford’s rise to prominence follows the auto industry’s
2008-09 tailspin, which forced GM and Chrysler temporarily into
bankruptcy protection. Toyota Canada, which jumped into the No.
2 spot in 2008, has since fallen back after a series of
high-profile recalls.

According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Ford
Canada’s market share year-to-date is 17.3 percent, ahead of
General Motors at 15.5 percent and Chrysler at 13.1 percent.

CANADA SALES UP 1.4 PCT-CONSULTANCY

DesRosiers said overall industry sales in Canada rose 1.4
percent to about 123,200 vehicles in October.

Sales of GM Canada’s core brands — Chevrolet, Buick, GMC
and Cadillac — rose 11.1 percent year-over-year to 14,514
units in October. Car sales rose 24.7 percent, while truck
sales climbed 5.7 percent.

However, overall sales at GM Canada fell 5.4 percent, when
factoring in discontinued inventory such as Pontiac brand
models, which were sold at heavily reduced prices last year.

Toyota Canada’s sales dropped 22.7 percent to 14,540 as
sales of Toyota branded models dropped 24.7 percent
year-over-year, while luxury Lexus models fell 16.4 percent.

Honda Canada (7267.T: ) said it sold 12,856 vehicles during
the month, up 14 percent from a year earlier and its best
October performance in five years.

Sales of the company’s Honda branded cars climbed 21
percent, while the luxury Acura division reported a 17 percent
decrease.

Chrysler Canada sold 15,168 vehicles during the month, up 6
percent from the year before, driven by brisk sales of its
minivan and small truck models.

Through the first 10 months of the year, the automaker has
already surpassed its total sales for 2009, it said.
(Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)

UPDATE 1-Ford Canada sales rise 8 pct to hold No. 1 spot