MONTREAL—Chrysler Group LLC was the top selling automaker in Canada last month, narrowly beating the other Detroit Three companies as the industry continued on a pace that would eclipse last year’s record sales.
Automakers sold 154,949 cars and trucks in October, a 6.5 per cent increase from 145,460 a year ago, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.
DesRosiers called the results “stunning.”
“Yet another huge month for light vehicle sales in Canada and for the second month in a row a (seasonally adjusted annual rate) tracking above two million units,” the company wrote in a note to clients.
Light truck sales were up 10.7 per cent to 90,009 compared with 81,292 a year ago, while passenger car sales grew 1.2 per cent to 64,940 compared with 64,168 in October 2013.
Light trucks accounted for 58 per cent of sales, which should continue to rise with declining fuel prices, DesRosiers wrote in a report.
For the year to date, sales totalled nearly 1.58 million, up 5.6 per cent from nearly 1.50 million in the first 10 months of 2013.
Sales from the Detroit Three automakers increased 8.3 per cent to about 66,200, while imports were up 5.3 per cent to 88,740.
Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. (GM) were almost even in October sales, but a 23 per cent surge caused Chrysler to inch ahead of its rivals.
Ford was No. 2 for the month as its sales decreased 2.6 per cent to 22,055 vehicles, while GM was third in October as its sales grew 7.3 per cent to 22,002.
In October, Chrysler Canada Inc.’s sales jumped on stronger demand for its Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks.
The automaker said it sold 22,303 vehicles last month, up from 18,131 a year earlier.
Car sales totalled 3,414, up from 2,546 a year ago, while truck sales increased to 18,889 from 15,585.
Chrysler said it is having the best sales in its 89-year history.
“2014 is shaping up to be a historic year for Chrysler Canada,” stated Chrysler chief operating officer David Buckingham.
GM’s sales increased seven per cent from 20,503 a year ago as its Chevrolet, Buick and GMC brands saw growth.
Car sales increased more than nine per cent to 6,742 from 6,169, while truck sales were up 6.5 per cent to 15,260 vehicles from 14,334.
Ford sales for October were down from 22,647 a year ago as it reported its truck sales slipped 1.1 per cent to 18,026 from 18,219.
Ford car sales fell nine per cent to 4,029 from 4,428 in October 2013.
Toyota Canada Inc. said its sales grew 2.2 per cent as it sold 17,977 vehicles under its Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands to mark its second-best October.
Nissan Canada Inc. said it posted record sales in October, rising 9.6 per cent to 9,286 vehicles as a 22.5 per cent increase in trucks offset a 1.7 per cent decrease in cars.
Nissan branded trucks cars and trucks grew a combined 7.6 per cent to 8,282 while luxury Infiniti sales surged nearly 30 per cent to 1,004.
Not all car companies had stronger results.
BMW AG, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Jaguar Land Rover Automotive and Volkswagen AG were all down in October compared with a year ago.
Among the smaller selling brands, BMW unit Mini said sales increased 55 per cent and Honda’s Acura luxury unit saw sales jump 42 per cent.