Richmond Hill, Ontario – Canadian vehicle sales were up 5.0 per cent in July and are now up 2.7 per cent year-to-date, according to a report by industry analyst, Dennis DesRosiers. The rise came “despite a recessionary quarter in Ontario, weakening employment numbers, a par dollar (and) a weakening energy sector out West,” DesRosiers said.

DesRosiers said he suspected the rise was due to vehicle prices, which have been down 3 to 5 per cent in the year, along with longer loans, in which 72 months have become the most popular term, and 84- and even 96-month loans are available.

While most import manufacturers were up over July 2007, Chrysler saw a decline of 7.6 per cent but is still up 2.4 per cent on the year; Ford was down 13.8 per cent while General Motors was up 5.2 per cent. “When GM is up, the market is usually up, since they are the dominant seller in Canada by a wide margin,” DesRosiers said. “Most like to ‘beat up’ GM, but they still have a 20-plus per cent share of the market, with the closest competitor in the mid-teens.”

Overall, passenger car sales were up 10.2 per cent, while light trucks were down 1.4 per cent, which DesRosiers blamed on fuel prices. The three domestic manufacturers as a group were down 3.8 per cent, while import brands as a group were up 13.9 per cent, and in July accounted for 53.7 per cent of the market, the single largest market share in any particular month in their history.

Sales figures for July were as follows:

 Manufacturer            July 2008           July 2007        % change 

General Motors  33,418  31,779 + 5.2
Chrysler  17,673  19,122 – 7.6
Ford  18,131  21,042 -13.8
Acura   1,531   1,541 – 0.6
Audi     586     821 -28.6
BMW   2,139   2,112 + 1.3
Honda  14,465  12,161 +18.9
Hyundai   7,611   7,219 + 5.4
Infiniti     713     565 +26.2
Jaguar       93      52 +78.8
Kia   3,942   3,417 +15.4
Land Rover     171     231 -26.0
Lexus   1,327   1,040 +27.6
Mazda   7,966   7,926 + 0.5
Mercedes-Benz   1,807   1,176 +53.7
Mini     501     326 +53.7
Mitsubishi   1,602   1,451 +10.4
Nissan   7,060   5,546 +27.3
Porsche     146     184 -20.7
Saab     268     200 +34.0
Smart     502     319 +57.4
Subaru   2,002   1,234 +62.2
Suzuki   1,268   1,152 +10.1
Toyota  20,663  17,542 +17.8
Volkswagen   3,506   3,442 + 1.9
Volvo     424     848 -50.0
       
Total Sales 149,515 142,448 + 5.0
Passenger cars  85,826   77,847 +10.2
Light trucks  63,689   64,601 – 1.4

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