TORONTO—Ford Motor Co. of Canada has posted improved August sales compared with a year ago, helped by stronger truck sales, to claim the honour of the industry’s top seller.
Ford edged out Chrysler with 27,988 cars and light trucks sold last month, up from 27,268 a year ago.
The increase came as Ford truck sales climbed 10.4 per cent to 22,539, up from 20,412 in the same month last year. Ford car sales were down 20.5 per cent at 5,449 compared with 6,856 a year ago.
“We are proud of the strong Lincoln sales in August, proving that the reinvention of the Lincoln brand is helping to gain the consideration of the Canadian luxury customer,” Ford Canada president and CEO Dianne Craig said in a statement.
The gains at Ford came as truck sales helped overall auto sales for the industry climb 7.9 per cent to 171,560 for August, up from 159,004 for the same month a year ago, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.
DesRosiers said light truck sales totalled 100,621, up 14.1 per cent from 88,168 a year ago, while car sales amounted to 70,939, up from 70,836 in August 2013.
Year-to-date sales totalled 1,256,649, up from 1,201,664 at the same time last year.
TD Bank economist Andrew Labelle said 2014 auto sales have surprised so far even when compared with lofty forecasts made early in the year.
Labelle noted that an uptick in job gains and consumer confidence have helped underpin the rise in sales as well as an easing in auto credit standards and terms and conditions.
“According to the last senior loan officer survey, on balance, conditions continue to ease, however the period of credit condition easing appears to now be nearing an end,” Labelle wrote in a note.
“This suggests that future auto sales growth will likely be both more modest and more sustainable.”
Meanwhile, Chrysler said it sold 26,825 vehicles last month, up from 21,932 in the same month last year.
Chrysler said the total was a record for the month and helped push year-to-date sales through August to a new high.
The increase for the month was driven by truck sales, which jumped to 24,302 from 18,233 a year ago as sales of its Jeep brand more than doubled. Chrysler car sales slipped to 2,523 from 3,699 as Dodge car sales fell to less than half of those a year ago.
So far this year, Chrysler has sold 201,424 vehicles, up from 187,375 in the first eight months of last year.
General Motors of Canada sold 22,111 vehicles in August, up 4.8 per cent from 21,091 a year ago.
GM truck sales were up 7.3 per cent at 16,089 from 15,001, while car sales totalled 6,022 compared with 6,090 a year ago.
The automaker said it will complete the launch of a complete portfolio of new trucks this fall.
“GM Canada is building momentum as we move into the fall, driven by strong customer demand for our Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, SUVs and trucks,” said John Roth, GM’s vice-president for sales, service and marketing.
“With the launch of the new Cadillac ATS Coupe and our all-new mid-size trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon later this year, we anticipate this growth will continue as we align our products to best suit the needs of our customers.”
Truck sales also helped Toyota Canada sales for the month, which climbed to 16,546, up 6.8 per cent from 15,499 a year ago. Toyota truck sales were up 10.4 per cent at 8,257 compared with 7,481 in August 2013, while Toyota car sales totalled 8,289, up from 8,018.
Sales of Toyota’s luxury nameplate, Lexus, totalled 1,534, down from 1,570 a year ago, while Scion sales amounted to 407, down from 578.