(Adds analyst comment and calculation of total)
TORONTO Oct 3 Ford Motor Co and General
Motors Co reported higher September vehicle sales in
Canada on Monday, boosted by sales of pickups, as Fiat Chrysler
sales plunged 18 percent, hurt in part by a sharp drop in the
number of deliveries of Ram pickup trucks.
Total Canadian auto sales were down 0.5 percent versus the
prior month, with a sharp fall in passenger car sales offset by
more light truck sales, industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers wrote
in a note to clients.
"The market has moved whole-heartedly to light trucks",
DesRosiers said, accounting for two-thirds of the 173,460 light
vehicle sales in the month.
Fiat Chrysler's Ram pickup sales dropped 23 percent to 6,655
trucks, and Dodge brand sales were down 9 percent. Overall, Fiat
Chrysler sales dropped to 19,639 vehicles from 23,979.
Meanwhile, Ford's Canadian sales rose 6.9 percent to 30,170
vehicles even as car sales dropped 25 percent. Sales of F-Series
pickup trucks rose 21 percent to 15,659 vehicles.
"Our investment in building the toughest, smartest, most
capable trucks is paying off," said Ford of Canada Chief
Executive Dianne Craig in a statement.
The Canadian results contrasted sharply with the United
States, where sales of the Ram 1500 pickup jumped 29 percent,
and the Fiat Chrysler's overall sales edged down only 1 percent.
Ford said F-Series sales were down 3 percent in the United
States from a year earlier.
GM said its Canadian dealers delivered 25,466 vehicles
during the month, up 2 percent from a year earlier, its
strongest September performance since 2008.
DesRosiers said sales incentives typically rise in September
as some manufacturers seek to clear out last year's models.
Chevrolet sales rose 5 percent, helped by growth in
Chevrolet crossovers and a 58 percent jump in sales of the
Colorado pickup truck. It said sales of the GMC Canyon, another
pickup, rose 39 percent.
(Reporting by Allison Martell and Alastair Sharp; Editing by
Alan Crosby and Grant McCool)