May 2, 2003


Imports up, domestics down among manufacturers reporting April sales

Among manufacturers reporting Canadian vehicle sales for April yesterday, domestic manufacturers reported steep declines from the same month last year, while most import manufacturers experienced increases and, in some cases, record sales for the month.

General Motors of Canada delivered 41,033 vehicles in April, a decrease of 16.1 per cent from the same period last year. Compared to April 2002, passenger car sales for the month were down 19.3 per cent, and truck sales were down 12.3 per cent.

Chrysler Group sales were down 15.1 per cent from April last year, with passenger cars declining 14.1 percent and trucks 15.5 per cent, on sales of 20,868 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. A bright spot for Chrysler was sales of the Dodge SX2.0 which drove small car sales up 10.8 per cent.

Ford sold 19,486 Ford and Lincoln vehicles in April, 18.5 per cent fewer than in April 2002. Passenger cars declined 20.7 per cent, while trucks were down 17.5 per cent. On the positive side, Lincoln sales were up 49 per cent, led by a 59.8 per cent jump in Town Car sales and Navigator sales that soared 490 per cent! Ford SUVs also had a good month with sales up 5.8 per cent led by a 67.8 per cent increase for the Expedition.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) toppled previous April sales records. Cumulative sales of 16,516 units made it the best April in history for TCI, up 6.5 per cent over last April’s record and 8.1 per cent better than the 2002 year-to-date (YTD) pace. It was the best April ever for Toyota vehicles, with car sales of 11,889 beating last year’s record by half a percentage point, and truck sales of
3,742 leaping ahead of last April by 24.9 per cent. Lexus truck performance drove the luxury brand to a historic total of 885 units. April was the best Lexus month ever and 31.3 per cent better than last year.

Nissan Canada Inc. also announced its best sales month ever. With a total of 6654 vehicles sold, April 2003 marked the company’s best month on record. This represents a 2.6% increase over April 2002, and a 5.9% increase over March, 2003. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, also broke all previous records by having its strongest sales month ever. Infiniti Canada recorded a 54% increase over April 2002 with 923 vehicles sold (a 4% increase over March 2003). Calendar year-to-date sales are up 73% over last year. Driving sales for Infiniti was the G35 Coupe and sedan. With 559 vehicles sold, the G35 had its best month’s sales, and its best sales ever since being launched in February, 2002.

Kia Canada Inc. announced its best sales month ever with a total of 3,076 vehicles sold. The month of March also saw Kia Canada Inc. break the record with 2,830 units sold.

Also selling a record number of vehicles in April was BMW Group Canada (BMW and MINI brands combined), recording sales of 1,846 units. April’s sales represent a 6% increase over April 2002. Year-to-date, BMW Group Canada’s sales are up 10% over the same period last year with 5,164 vehicles sold.

Hyundai Auto Canada announced sales of 6,887 vehicles for the month of April, a 2.6 per cent increase over last April. Year-to-date sales reached 20,717 vehicles representing an increase of 6% over 2002. April sales were lead by Elantra, Sonata and Santa Fe, with Elantra and Sonata setting April sales records and Santa Fe an all-time monthly sales record. Elantra and Sonata sales reached 1,735 and 795 vehicles respectively, while Santa Fe sales hit 1,179 vehicles.

Audi sales totalled 773 new units for April 2003, compared with 755 units in April 2002, an increase of 2.4 per cent. Volkswagen Canada reported year-to-date sales of 11,856 units, an increase of 1.5 per cent over the same time period last year. Volkswagen Canada’s sales for April 2003 totalled 3,671 new units, down 9.1 percent from the 4,039 sold in April 2002.

Honda Canada Inc. reported combined sales of 15,599 units by its Honda and Acura divisions for April. Sales for the Honda
Division were 13,508 units, and sales for the Acura Division were 2,091 units. Honda did not report comparative data for the same month last year. However, Honda of Canada Manufacturing, which operates the Alliston Ontario assembly plant, the produced 33,445 units in April, an increase of 2.2 percent. The plant, which produces the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX, Honda Odyssey, Acura 1.7 EL and Honda Civic sedan, currently is operating to a capacity of 390,000 units.

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