March 4, 2003

Imports show strongest sales gains in February

Toronto, Ontario – Vehicle sales were mixed in February, but one trend remains constant: import brands showed stronger sales increases than domestic brands.

General Motors of Canada vehicle sales declined 8.7 per cent from February, 2002. Car sales for the month of 12,478 vehicles were down 13.3 per cent, and truck sales of 14,038 were down 4.2 per cent.

DaimlerChrysler’s total vehicle sales were also down: 5.2% lower than last February. However, car sales were of 28% were up dramatically, spurred on by strong sales of the Sebring and 300M. Truck sales were down 14.2%.

Ford of Canada’s sales inched ahead in February. Ford and Lincoln car sales remained level at 5,104 while truck sales of 12,333 were up 1.1 percent.

Popular imports brands showed strong increases. Honda’s total car and truck sales of 8,830 vehicles represented a 14.3 percent increase over February, 2002. Toyota car sales of 6,928 were up 7.4 per cent over last year, and truck sales also set a record, although figures weren’t released. Nissan Canada also had a record month with 4,140 vehicles sold, an increase of 8.3% from the previous February. Hyundai finished February with sales of 4,267, up 8% over February, 2002. Volkswagen’s total sales for February 2003 were 2,567, a 15.4% increase from February 2002. Kia sold 1,948 vehicles, an 8.5% increase. Suzuki Canada announced February sales of 640 vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, which began selling cars in Canada in September 2002, posted February sales of 1,197 a 10.7 per cent rise over January.

Some luxury car brands also saw big sales increases in February. Lincoln sales jumped 28 percent. Infiniti’s sales of 660 vehicles jumped 152% versus February 2002. Driving Infiniti sales was the all new 2003 Infiniti FX45 premium crossover SUV, which accounted for approximately 35% of Infiniti sales in February. Audi sales totalled 507, an increase of 16.8%.

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