March 4, 2004

Canadian vehicle sales down 10.6% in February

Vancouver, B.C. – Sales of cars and trucks in February dropped 10.6 percent versus
February of 2003, reports Desrosiers Automotive Consultants. “This is the seventh
month in a row that sales have been behind year ago levels,” said Dennis Desrosiers.
“Sales started to deteriorate last August and for most of the last seven months
have been worsening.”

In February, Mazda vehicle sales were up 18.4 percent, BMW up 9.6 percent, Suzuki up
12.0 percent, GM up 0.4 percent, and Toyota up 1.2 percent. However, some
automakers experienced major declines: Mitsubishi was down 48.5 percent, VW down
33.9 percent, Hyundai down 33.2 percent, Honda down 25.3 percent, DaimlerChrysler
down 20 percent and Ford down 14.6 percent.

“What caught my attention this month is the divergence between companies,” said
Desrosiers. “There are always companies that do well each month and others that do
not so well but you usually don’t see this much divergence.”

Desrosiers attributes General Motors’ relatively good sales performance when compared
to Ford and DaimlerChrysler to their new line of entry-level vehicles. “Aveo’s,
Optra’s, Epica’s are selling well in Canada which is primarily an entry level
market. In Canada, entry-level vehicles defined as subcompact and compact cars,
SUV’s and pickups represent about 40 percent of total light vehicle sales. And entry
level has been increasing as a percent of the Canadian market. GM has recognized
this and launched a number of new models in this segment.”

The best-selling car in Canada in January was the new Mazda3, and “..will likely be
in February as well when the data is available in a few weeks,” said Desrosiers.
“This goes back to the fundamental issue in the market. You want to sell more
vehicles then address the product issues. Witness GM, Toyota and Mazda with the

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