(Adds total Canadian sales, and sales from Nissan and Honda)
TORONTO, April 3 Automakers sold a record number
of vehicles in Canada during March, with General Motors Canada
leading in sales volume and posting its best monthly
sales performance since 2008.
Overall Canadian sales were driven by an 11.1 percent
increase in consumer demand for pickups and sport utility
vehicles during the month, which more than offset a 0.3 percent
dip in passenger car sales.
Carmakers sold 187,540 vehicles last month, a 7.1 percent
increase over the same period last year, which at the time was
the best March since 1988, according to industry data from
Desrosiers Automotive Consultants.
Sales growth for the first three months of 2017 was 4.6
GM Canada, which makes Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, reported
double-digit sales growth, selling 30,115 total vehicles in
March, an increase of 22.9 percent from a year ago when it sold
24,498 cars and trucks.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles , which makes
Dodge and Chrysler brands, posted a marginal sales rise, with
26,531 cars and trucks sold during the month, compared with
26,469 a year ago.
Ford Motor Co sold a total of 26,487 cars and trucks
in Canada last month, up from 26,447, a 0.2 percent rise.
In the United States, monthly figures came in below market
expectations, adding to concerns that the boom in U.S. auto
sales may be waning. Shares of the three big automakers fell on
Monday, with FCA falling nearly 5 percent, GM down 3.4 percent,
and Ford closing 1.7 percent lower.
Other automakers also reported a significant increase in
Canadian sales, including Nissan Motor Co Ltd, which
sold 14,523 vehicles, representing a 26.7 percent jump. Honda
Canada reported an 18.7 percent rise, selling 17,392
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Matthew Lewis)