Fiat Chrysler wins first Canadian sales title

Jeep played a key role in FCA winning the Canada title.
UPDATED: 1/5/16 4:11 pm ET - adds final results

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won the Canadian auto sales title for the first time in its 90-year history, posting a 1.1 percent gain in sales to 293,061 vehicles, as the industry followed U.S. trends and reported record-breaking sales in 2015.

FCA Canada's first annual Canadian sales title came from strong Jeep and Ram sales. December sales for the automaker rose 1.6 percent to 21,961 vehicles. 

Overall Canadian sales nudged down 2 percent in December to 128,874 vehicles, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. Overall sales for the year gained 2.5 percent to 1.9 million vehicles, a new record, DesRosiers said today.

Car sales dropped 6 percent for the year while truck sales gained percent, DesRosiers said.

Ford Motor Co. said its Canadian sales fell 13 percent in December to 19,623 vehicles. Its total sales for 2015 dropped 5 percent to 278,531 vehicles.

General Motors said its December sales declined 3.4 percent to 18,591 vehicles. For the year, GM sales improved 5.4 percent to 263,335 vehicles.

In a statement, David Buckingham, FCA Canada's COO said "2015 marked our best sales volume in our 90-year history."

The Canadian numbers come as automakers today reported strong U.S. sales in December, indicating that 2015 would smash records, with most forecasters predicting the new year will be even better. 

Analyst Dennis DesRosiers predicted Monday that 2015 auto sales in Canada 2015 would break records for the third year in a row.

He said cheaper gas and increased demand in the country's largest two provinces, Quebec and Ontario, offset weakness in Alberta caused by sinking oil prices.

"And we expect more of the same this year so there is an excellent chance of sales growth in 2016," DesRosiers wrote in an email.

Automotive News and Reuters contributed to this report.

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