Richmond Hill, Ontario – New-vehicle sales in Canada fell 4.2 per cent in February after 14 consecutive months of recovery, according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. The poor showing in the month also pushed year-to-date sales down by 0.7 per cent.

“We’ve been talking about a halting recovery for quite some time, and quite frankly we don’t know whether this is the beginning of some lean months or not, but February does clearly demonstrate how fragile the automotive recovery is in Canada,” DesRosiers said. He did note that since February is the smallest month, “nobody should read a lot into the February numbers.”

Ford emerged as the best-selling brand in Canada, ahead of Chrysler, for both February and year-to-date sales. Ford’s sales were down by 10.3 per cent, all of the decline in light trucks, which was the opposite of the market as a whole where passenger cars were down 12.2 per cent relative to light truck sales, which were up by 2.3 per cent. “Most of the problems in light trucks, for all players, came in the last ten selling days when higher gas prices hurt demand,” DesRosiers said. “Incentive spending is also causing a lot of disruption in the light truck market. Incentives forwarded a lot of light truck sales into last fall.”

Sales for February were as follows:

Manufacturer February 2011 February 2010 % Change
       
Chrysler 15,158 13,970 + 8.5
Ford 16,066 17,910 -10.3
General Motors 12,291 13,846 -11.2
       
Acura 907 858 + 5.7
Audi 1,205 866 +39.1
BMW 1,803 1,420 +27.0
Fiat 9 N/A N/A
Honda 6,902 8,059 -14.4
Hyundai 8,700 8,502 + 2.3
Infiniti 450 440 + 2.3
Jaguar 50 35 +42.9
Kia 3,870 3,001 +29.0
Land Rover 215 180 +19.4
Lexus 837 902 -7.2
Mazda 4,170 4,929 -15.4
Mercedes-Benz 1,975 1,892 + 4.4
Mini 232 193 +20.2
Mitsubishi 1,559 1,558 +0.1
Nissan 4,958 4,006 +23.8
Porsche 160 110 +45.5
Saab 2 N/A N/A
Smart 74 119 -37.8
Subaru 1,765 1,724 + 2.4
Suzuki 346 700 -50.6
Toyota 8,643 11,791 -26.7
Volkswagen 3,237 28,21 +14.7
Volvo 422 411 + 2.7
       
Total sales 96,006 100,243 – 4.2
Passenger cars 39,514 45,024 -12.2
Light trucks 56,492 55,219 + 2.3
       
Domestic 43,515 45,726 – 4.8
Imports 52,491 54,517 – 3.7

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