Richmond Hill, Ontario – New vehicle sales last month were “soft” compared to last year, but still marked the second-best March on record, according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. Overall, sales of cars and light trucks were down 0.5 per cent.

Import nameplates as a group were up 6.2 per cent, while GM, Ford and Chrysler nameplates as a group were down 6.9 per cent. “Import nameplates solidly outsold GM, Ford (and) Chrysler nameplates for the month and collectively the Big Three registered the lowest market share on record,” DesRosiers said. “Of the volume players, Toyota was the big winner with sales up 14.5 per cent. Toyota also announced aggressive MSRP cuts earlier in the year and these are obviously paying a dividend.”

DesRosiers also noted that because of very strong January and February sales, year-to-date numbers are still up 7.3 per cent to the end of March. “Our forecast is for sales to ultimately come down a little over the rest of the year and finish down about 50,000 units,” he said.

Sales for March 2008 were:

Manufacturer March 2008 March 2007 Per cent change
Chrysler 21,602 21,011 + 2.8
Ford 20,050 20,286 – 1.2
General Motors 29,972 35,655 -15.9
Acura 2,088 1,927 + 8.4
Audi 781 678 +15.2
BMW 1,584 2,128 -25.6
Honda 14,197 13,242 + 7.2
Hyundai 7,029 6,600 + 6.5
Infiniti 828 730 +13.4
Jaguar 135 101 +33.7
Kia 3,156 2,829 +11.6
Land Rover 234 228 + 2.6
Lexus 1,126 1,215 – 7.3
Mazda 9,055 8,108 +11.7
Mercedes-Benz 1,731 1,756 – 1.4
Mini 296 323 – 8.4
Mitsubishi 1,821 1,426 +27.7
Nissan 7,513 7,412 + 1.4
Porsche 157 183 -14.2
Saab 79 196 -59.7
Smart 324 205 +58.0
Subaru 1,639 1,572 + 4.3
Suzuki 1,107 1,242 -10.9
Toyota 19,523 17,047 +14.5
Volkswagen 3,531 3,619 – 2.4
Volvo 465 1,029 -54.8
Total light vehicle sales 150,023 150,748 – 0.5

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