Auto sales climb 3.4% in February

Trucks grab more market share with sales up more than 5%

March 4, 2015   by CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Canadian auto buyers were undeterred by the cold weather felt in many provinces last month, helping auto makers mark the best February sales since 2008.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Canadians snapped up 109,248 vehicles in February, up by 3.4 per cent from 105,865 in February 2014.

Trucks continued to grab more market share, with sales up more than 5% to 68,049, while sales of passenger cars inched up 0.2% to 41,199.

DesRosiers says light trucks now make up a record-high 63.3% of the Canadian auto market, based on year-to-date sales figures.

General Motors of Canada Ltd. sold 13,806 vehicles in February, an increase of more than 6% from the previous year.

Ford Canada saw its sales slip 7.4% to 15,021, while FCA Canada Inc. saw a 1% gain to 18,711.

“Given the coldest February on record for both Quebec and Ontario, the collapse in crude prices, and a declining Canadian dollar, it is a definite positive that Canadian consumers haven’t been steered away from the new vehicle market,” analyst Dennis DesRosiers said in a statement.

Toyota’s sales advanced nearly 20% from a year ago to 11,864, while Honda’s sales slipped eight per cent to 7,200.

Scotiabank analyst Carlos Gomes noted that pickup trucks fared particularly well, with sales advancing 13% year-over-year, led by a 44% increase at General Motors.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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