Richmond Hill, Ontario – Chrysler was the top-selling brand in Canada in February, the first time in Chrysler Canada’s 84-year history that it has been the country’s number-one automaker. Overall, sales of passenger cars and light trucks fell 27.7 per cent in February 2009, compared with February 2008, according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. 

Sales fell at most brands, with the exception of single-digit increases at Audi, BMW, Kia, Subaru and Suzuki, and increases of 18.6 per cent at Mercedes-Benz and 29.8 per cent for Hyundai, the largest increase for the month.

Both Ford and Chrysler outsold General Motors in February. “I can’t document month-to-month sales for Canada, but I do have annual data going back to the 1940s, and 1949 was the last time on an annual basis that GM was outsold by another vehicle company,” DesRosiers said. “In no year since 1950 has GM been outsold by any vehicle company in Canada. There may have been an individual month where this happened during the early 1950s, but I doubt it, so with both Chrysler and Ford outselling GM in February, it will be the first month since sometime in late 1949.”

DesRosiers said that the total market was down for the fourth consecutive month. “Understand that February a year ago was a blow-out month, with record sales by a very wide margin, so comparisons are not entirely appropriate,” he said. “But even compared with a normalized February, this year is one of the worst in over a decade. (Year-to-date) sales are down 24.7 per cent.”

Sales in February were as follows:

Manufacturer Feb 2009 Feb 2008 % Change
       
Chrysler 11,923 16,332 -27.0
Ford 11,854 14,019 -15.4
General Motors 11,381 26,309 -56.7
       
Acura    990  1,437 -31.1
Audi    627    580 + 8.1
BMW  1,190  1,149 + 3.6
Honda  6,051 10,632 -43.1
Hyundai  6,912  5,326 +29.8
Infiniti    429    516 -16.9
Jaguar     35     41 -14.6
Kia  2,221  2,195 + 1.2
Land Rover    150    194 -22.7
Lexus    715    822 -13.0
Mazda  4,666  5,810 -19.7
Mercedes-Benz  1,419  1,196 +18.6
Mini    148    244 -39.3
Mitsubishi  1,454  1,473 – 1.3
Nissan  4,288  4,881 -12.1
Porsche    104    126 -17.5
Saab     36     59 -39.0
Smart    141    194 -27.3
Subaru  1,263  1,168 + 8.1
Suzuki    728    704 + 3.4
Toyota  9,421 12,776 -26.3
Volkswagen  1,721  2,311 -25.5
Volvo    363    457 -20.8
       
Light vehicle sales 80,230 110,951 -27.7
Passenger car 40,786  58,210 -29.9
Light truck 39,444  52,741 -25.2
       
       
       
       

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