Richmond Hill, Ontario – New-vehicle sales were up 17.8 per cent in December 2009 compared with 2008, but sales for all of 2009 were down 10.7 per cent compared to the year before, according to a report by industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

There were 1,460,581 passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2009, the lowest since 1998, when sales were 1.427 million units. The decline of 10.7 per cent was the largest since 1990, when sales declined by 11.4 per cent.

“A very unique situation developed in 2009 with four of the top five (companies) seeing significant sales declines,” DesRosiers said. “This has never happened before.”

General Motors, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota all showed declines for 2009. Only Ford showed an increase, and with four of the top five struggling, it leaves a lot of room for others to do well, DesRosiers said. Several companies were up, including Kia, Subaru, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Hyundai, which broke the 100,000-vehicle mark for the first time in Canada, with a total of 103,233 units sold in 2009.

DesRosiers warned that while December sales were up, they are compared to a weak month in 2008, and are actually tracking at levels from about five years ago. “There is still a very long way to go before we see mid-decade levels of sales,” he said. “Don’t get too excited about December sales being up.”

Sales for December, and final percentages for 2009, were:

Manufacturer Dec 2009 Dec 2008 % Dec % 2009
         
Chrysler 13,739 12,172 + 12.9 -26.7
Ford 17,902 14,273 + 25.4 + 6.8
General Motors 18,825 20,751 –  9.3 -29.1
         
Acura  1,533  1,597 –  4.0 -11.8
Audi    701    739 –  5.1 +22.0
BMW  1,848  1,745 +  5.9 + 6.4
Honda 10,830  8,958 + 20.9 -19.1
Hyundai  5,154  3,750 + 37.4 +28.0
Infiniti    489    484 +  1.0 -13.2
Jaguar     57     38 + 50.0 -13.5
Kia  2,645  1,642 + 61.1 +22.9
Land Rover    243    150 + 62.0 -12.5
Lexus  1,235    906 + 36.3 + 5.3
Mazda  4,261  4,510 –  5.5 -13.3
Mercedes-Benz  1,819  1,588 + 14.5 +19.2
Mini    297    300 –  1.0 -13.3
Mitsubishi  1,609  1,490 +  8.0 + 6.2
Nissan  4,652  4,042 + 15.1 – 4.5
Porsche    114     95 + 20.0 + 0.4
Saab     53     98 – 45.9 -50.4
Smart    226    150 + 50.7 -28.9
Subaru  1,945  1,529 + 27.2 +15.8
Suzuki    707    704 +  0.4 – 8.5
Toyota 16,472  8,846 + 86.2 – 9.5
Volkswagen  3,205  3,598 – 10.9 + 0.1
Volvo    625    268 +133.2 + 0.5
         
Light vehicles 111,186 94,423 + 17.8 -10.7
Passenger car  50,943 44,739 + 13.9 -16.4
Light truck  60,243 49,684 +21.3 – 3.8

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