Richmond Hill, Ontario – New-vehicle sales rose by 4.0 per cent in April 2010, compared with April 2009, according to industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

Although General Motors was down 20.4 per cent, sales increases at Chrysler and Ford led the domestic nameplates to a 6.2 per cent rise in sales, versus a 2.2 per cent increase for import brands.

“The light vehicle market in 2010 is clearly segmenting into a ‘have’ versus ‘have-not’ type of market,” DesRosiers said. “At least the early part of this year it has been that way … on the ‘have’ side of the equation there are some spectacular performers led by Audi, whose sales were up 38.5 per cent in April and are now up by 52.9 per cent year-to-date. … There is a group of companies in the middle whose sales are up slightly this year, but they are underperforming the market so although positive, it is hard for analysts like myself to be overly positive about their performance.

“The big three ‘have-not’ companies are General Motors, Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura. All three seriously underperform the market and all three for very different reasons.”

DesRosiers suggested that General Motors is struggling with the loss of a number of brands, especially Pontiac which did well in the Canadian market, and with the closure of 238 dealers which affected distribution; Toyota is being affected by its recalls; and Honda is not playing the “heavy discount game, at least not until recently and not as much as most others, and this has hurt their sales performance for quite some time now.”

For April, General Motors regained the top selling spot over Ford by a narrow margin, although Ford remains the top-selling brand year-to-date, followed by Chrysler, Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura.

The April sales results were as follows:

Manufacturer April 2010 April 2009 % change
       
Chrysler 20,576 15,242 + 35.0
Ford 23,430 18,782 + 24.7
General Motors 23,451 29,476 – 20.4
       
Acura  1,708  1,430 + 19.4
Audi  1,733  1,251 + 38.5
BMW  2,681  1,931 + 38.8
Honda 11,388 11,865 –  4.0
Hyundai 12,495 10,809 + 15.6
Infiniti    613    542 + 13.1
Jaguar     74     88 – 15.9
Kia  5,057  4,276 + 18.3
Land Rover    225    138 + 63.0
Lexus  1,370  1,621 – 15.5
Mazda  8,338  8,195 +  1.7
Mercedes-Benz  2,777  2,267 + 22.5
Mini    411    366 + 12.3
Mitsubishi  1,613  1,844 – 12.5
Nissan  6,576  6,532 +  0.7
Porsche    225    191 + 17.8
Saab      0    160 -100.0
Smart    205    250 – 18.0
Subaru  2,640  2,050 + 28.8
Suzuki    742    917 – 19.1
Toyota 16,303 19,599 – 16.8
Volkswagen  4,394  3,496 + 25.7
Volvo    633    613 +  3.3
       
Total sales 149,658 143,931 +  4.0
Passenger car  70,416  75,331 –  6.5
Light truck  79,242  68,600 + 15.5
       
Domestic brands  67,457  63,500 +  6.2
Import brands  82,201  80,431 +  2.2

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