UPDATE 1-Ford leads Canadian auto sales higher, Toyota lags

* Ford leads Canada sales, up 23.2 pct to 18,382 units

* Overall industry sales up 13.6 pct year-on-year

* Toyota sales drop 24.5 pct
(Adds analyst comment)

TORONTO, Dec 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Ford of Canada

Sales for the industry rose 13.6 percent year-over-year
during the month, according to auto industry analyst Dennis

The one exception to the November sales rise was Toyota
Canada (7203.T: ), which reported a 24.5 percent drop in vehicle
sales from the year before.

Ford, which has made a big push in the car market this
year, sold 18,382 vehicles in the month. Car sales were up 23.2
percent while truck sales gained 13.2 percent.

Ford is leading the Canadian market in sales this year for
the first time in 50 years, having risen to prominence
following the auto industry’s 2008-09 tailspin.

Conversely, Toyota, which jumped into the No. 2 spot in
2008, has fallen back after a series of high-profile recalls.

Sales of Toyota brand vehicles fell 26.8 percent
year-over-year to 10,861 units, while sales of its luxury Lexus
line of cars and SUVs dropped 18 percent to 1,053.

DesRosiers said it wasn’t clear why Toyota’s sales fell so
far during the month.

“I suspect that the overhang from the recalls have
something to do with it … but I can’t say for sure and that
may be too easy an excuse. It is more likely to do with how
well their entry level vehicles stack up to the other entrants
in the market,” he said in a note.

However, he said that, overall, November was a “very good
month” for Canadian sales.

General Motors of Canada (GM.N: ) (GMMu.TO: ) — formerly the
country’s dominant automaker — said it sold 15,063 vehicles,
for an increase of 33.7 percent over last year. Car sales rose
24.7 percent, while truck sales climbed 5.7 percent.

GM, which was forced briefly into bankruptcy protection
last year and needed government funding to stay afloat, made
its return to the stock market last month in the biggest
initial public offering in history, listing on the New York and
Toronto exchanges.

The company is profitable again, but is still restructuring
and is in the process of culling some of its brands.

Including only its four core brands — Chevrolet, Buick,
GMC and Cadillac — GM’s November sales were up 50.3 percent to
13,390 vehicles. Car sales were up 48.4 percent, while truck
sales rose 51.2 percent.

Chrysler Canada said it’s sales rose 33.6 percent to 15,308
vehicles. Car sales slumped 46.2 percent while truck sales rose
47.1 percent.

Honda Canada (7267.T: ) saw sales rise by 22 percent to
10,876 units. The company’s Honda division was up 19 percent,
while the luxury Acura division gained 54 percent.

“We are encouraged by steadily increasing vehicle sales in
the Canadian market, which shows that market conditions are
experiencing gradual but continuing signs of recovery,” Jerry
Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada, said in a

Hyundai Canada (005380.KS: ), which released its sales
numbers late on Tuesday, saw a 10.2 percent increase in
November, to 7,739 vehicles, for 22 consecutive months of sales
gains. The company said it has already sold 9,170 more cars and
trucks in 2010 than it did in all 12 months of 2009.
(Reporting by John McCrank and Cameron French; editing by Rob

UPDATE 1-Ford leads Canadian auto sales higher, Toyota lags