0 percent leads to strong November in Canada

TORONTO - A string of zeroes added up to a 13 percent improvement in Canadian sales in November, as the 11-month total edged ahead of the record set last year.

Zero percent financing offered by the Big 3 and some import brands boosted November sales to 130,100 units, up 15,017 from year-ago figures, and brought the total to 1,436,722 units, up 997 units from last year.

General Motors and Daimler Chrysler made strong gains with Ford Motor Co. still lagging. But overall 2001 North American sales are down 7.3 percent. This compares with an 11.1 percent improvement for Japanese brands, a 1.9 percent gain for Europeans and a 55.8 percent jump for South Korean nameplates.

GM's sales increased 18.2 percent during the month, but total sales for the year are down 2.0 percent.

DaimlerChrysler sales rose 9.3 percent, but its sales are down 11.4 percent for the year. Ford sales dipped 4.8 percent, dragging its 11-month total 12.4 percent lower than the year-ago period.

Japanese brands fared well with Nissan sales up 56.8 percent; Mazda up 39.8 percent; Honda up 10.2 percent; Subaru up 9.4 percent; Toyota up 8.6 percent; and Suzuki down 6.3 percent.

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