Canadian Manufacturing

Auto sales on cruise control in January, up 9.6 per cent

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said passenger car sales slipped, but truck sales picked up the slack



TORONTO—After a record-breaking year in 2015, Canadian auto sales continued to roar ahead in the first month of this year.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says overall car and light truck sales rose to 108,553 in January, up 9.6 per cent from 99,051 in January 2015 and just shy of the month’s all-time record of 110,266 set in 2002.

The consultancy firm says 11 different brands saw double-digit growth, led by Honda, where sales jumped 36.8 per cent to 8,963 vehicles.

Only four companies saw declines, with Volkswagen turning in the worst performance, down 17.6 per cent to 3,408 as the company grapples with the fallout of a scandal involving emissions-cheating software in its vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler was the sales leader, up 0.6 per cent at 18,156, followed by Ford, up 14.1 per cent at 16,637 and General Motors at 14,395, although its sales were up a whopping 24.3 per cent.

DesRosiers says passenger car sales were down 3.8 per cent at 33,826, but that was more than offset by a 17 per cent increase in sales of light trucks—which includes SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks—to 74,727.

All that was good news for the industry amid concerns buyer interest might falter after record-breaking sales last year of 1.898 million new vehicles.

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