TORONTO - Led by strong performances from Ford and General Motors, Canadian car and light-truck sales rose 12.0 percent in January, to 84,425.
Ford sales rose 30.9 percent over January 1998, and GM sales jumped 10.1 percent. Last year's sales were hurt by an ice storm in Ontario and Quebec, but heavy snow in those regions this year also could have slowed sales.
Car sales in January were up 17.7 percent, and truck sales rose 6.6 percent. Trucks accounted for 49.6 percent of sales.
Ford's January success was because of a 53.1 percent increase in truck sales. Its car sales were up only 1.3 percent. Conversely, GM's car sales rose 26.4 percent in January, but its truck sales declined 3.4 percent.
DaimlerChrysler AG sales dipped 15.9 percent in January, with the Chrysler brands down 17.6 percent and Mercedes-Benz up 45.3 percent. Truck sales for the former Chrysler Corp. slid 20.3 percent, and car sales declined 10.8 percent.
Nissan/Infiniti, up 47.3 percent, had the biggest percentage increase among the Japanese makes. Honda followed with a 38.4 percent gain, and Toyota/Lexus was up 28.8 percent. Other Japanese makers also fared well, as did Hyundai with a 37.5 percent sales increase.
Volkswagen continued as the dominant European importer in volume terms, reporting a 41.1 percent increase, to 2,165. Jaguar and Volvo reported declines for the month.