Big July for Chrysler as it tops Canadian auto sales

Ford sells nearly 194,000 vehicles in the US, led by the F-Series pickup.

August 2, 2013   by CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — The big three automakers reported mixed auto sales for July, with Chrysler registering the most sales in Canada, followed by Ford and General Motors.

Chrysler said it sold 26,209 cars and trucks last month, an 8% jump from July 2012. The auto manufacturer said the figures represent the highest grossing July in the company’s history, and 44th consecutive month of growth year-over-year.

“July was an exceptionally good month for retail sales throughout the product line-up, in fact it marked the highest July retail sales in our history,” said Dave Buckingham, chief operating officer for Chrysler Canada in a release.

The company said it saw increases in sales for its cars (20% over last year), Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, Ram trucks, Dodge Journeys, Jeep Wranglers and Fiat 500s.

Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., also had its best July in the US since 2006. It sold just over 140,000 cars and trucks, led by gains in pickup truck and SUV sales.

Sales of the Ram full-size pickup rose 31% over a year ago, buoyed by an improving housing market that’s helping to drive purchases by small business. Jeep Grand Cherokee sales rose 30%, the SUV’s best July since 2005.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. said it saw Canadian sales of 25,188 in July, down 9% compared with the same period a year ago. Ford saw its total July car sales go up slightly to 6,796 from 6,618 year over year. But truck sales fell nearly 14% to 18,392 from 21,322 last month compared with July 2012.

“As consumers look to save money on gas, we’re seeing sales increases across our car line-up while we maintain our year-to-date sales leadership in trucks,” said Dianne Craig, Ford’s president and chief executive.

It said it saw increases in its Focus, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models.

Ford sold nearly 194,000 vehicles in the US, led by the F-Series pickup truck, with sales up 23%. One in three vehicles sold by Ford last month was a pickup. But the company was helped by the other end of its model line-up, too. Sales of the Fiesta subcompact rose 89%.

The consulting firm LMC Automotive said the second-half tail wind could push this year’s US sales to around 16 million. Sales last topped 16 million in 2007, just ahead off the recession. They bottomed out at a 30-year low of 10.4 million in 2009, and have been recovering ever since.

General Motors’ sales for July in Canada were relatively flat, totalling 19,164 vehicles, down 0.2% from the amount sold a year ago.

Japanese automaker Honda reported July sales of 13,454; Kia sold 7,616, Nissan sold 7,436, while Volkswagen Canada sold 5,107.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

Files from Associated Press

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