February 4, 2002

January car sales take an upward surge

Low interest financing and rebate programs helped January automobile sales surge upwards with some automobile manufacturers reporting their best January sales ever. That contrasted with the U.S. market where the Big Three’s sales were down significantly after 0% financing deals ended at the end of 2001. In Canada, GM’s January sales were up 18%, Ford was up 15%, and DaimlerChrysler’s sales increased 5%. Among the import automakers, Jaguar’s January sales were up 120%, mostly due to the new X-Type, Audi’s January sales were up 58%, Mercedes-Benz’s sales increased 38%, Subaru rose 20%, BMW was up 10%, and Volkswagen sales grew by 5%. Of these manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Subaru and Jaguar reported their highest January sales ever in the Canadian market.

Here are the results by manufacturer:

General Motors

GM dealers sold 38,756 vehicles in January, an increase of 17.8 per cent over the same period last year. Compared to January 2001, passenger car sales for the month were 20,452 units, up 22.6 per cent, and truck sales were 18,304 units, up 12.8 per cent.

January was a record for this month’s truck sales, the best January for cars since 1986 and the best January for combined vehicle sales in 22 years.


DaimlerChrysler sold a record 18,217 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep cars and trucks in January, an increase of 5.3 percent over the 17,296 vehicles sold in the same month last year and eclipsing the previous record of 18,130 vehicles sold in January 1977!

January sales of a record 14,058 trucks were 10.3 percent higher than the previous record for the month of 12,750 trucks sold in the corresponding month last year.

Sales of the new Dodge Ram, Dodge Dakota pickups, Chrysler Sebring sedan, Sebring convertible and Chrysler 300M set records for the month while January sales of 6,528 Dodge Caravans, the top-selling vehicle in Canada for the past two years, were 14.3 percent higher than the 5,710 sold in January 2001.


Canadians purchased 16,848 new Ford and Lincoln vehicles in January, a 14.9 per cent increase from the same month last year. Truck sales increased 20.8 per cent to 11,373 units while car sales were up 4.2 per cent at 5,475 units.

Ford’s January highlights included:

  • Focus wagon sales were up 63 per cent

  • Ford Escape set a new January sales record at 1,018 units, an increase of 40.6 per cent.
  • Ford Ranger sales soared 80.4 per cent last month, its best January sales in six years.
  • Ford Windstar sales jumped 12 per cent over last year, its second-best January ever.
  • Ford F-Series sales increased 27 per cent in January compared to the same period last year.
  • January was also a record-breaking month for Lincoln LS with a 3.3 per cent sales increase.


Volkswagen Canada reported an increase in sales of 4.0% for the month of January. That brought the total to 2,330 units, up from 2,240 units sold in January 2001.

The Passat posted sales of 331 new units, compared with 142 units in January 2001, an increase of 133.1%. Cabrio sales increased 46.4% from 28 units in 2001 to 41 units this year for the month of January. The Jetta remained Volkswagen Canada’s best selling vehicle with 1,233 sales in January this year, down slightly from 1,244 vehicles last January.


Mercedes-Benz Canada reported its best January sales in its history. A total of 907 vehicles were sold, representing a gain of 253 units or 38.7% compared to last year’s January sales.

Mercedes-Benz passenger car sales of 653 were a 36.6% increase. Light truck sales of 254 increased 44.3%.

The best performers for the month were the new 2002 C-Class coupes and sedans. Though popular, sales of the new C-Class coupe had previously been limited by a short supply.


BMW Canada posted its best January sales month in its history with sales of 663 vehicles, a 10.1% increase over the same month last year. Sales were up across all model ranges, notably X5 sales up 15% and 3-Series models up by 9%.


Total January sales of 1,164 were a 20 per cent increase over the January 2001, and the all-time best January for Subaru Canada Inc.

Sales of the Impreza rose by over 114 per cent, while Legacy and Outback models had sales increases of 6.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively.


Audi’s January sales of 505 represented an increase of 57.8% over January 2001.

Top performers were the all-new A4 sedan with sales of 355 compared to 178 in January of last year, an increase of 99.4%. The A4 is still the best-selling Audi in Canada. A6 sales also rose in the month of January to 102 units, compared with 83 in the previous year, an increase of 22.9%.


The best January in Jaguar Canada’s history saw the company sell 172 cars, an increase of over 120 per cent over January 2001. The big increase was largely due to the all-new X-Type sedan which wasn’t offered last January. As well, XJ8 and Vanden Plas sedan sales increased nearly 20 per cent compared with same period last year.

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