A booming Canadian economy has done wonders for consumer confidence and new-vehicle sales.
In April, Canadian light-vehicle sales rose 1.5 percent, to 138,909. For the first four months of this year, sales were 6.6 percent ahead of the same period in 1998. April car sales rose 3.9 percent, and truck sales declined 1.6 percent.
General Motors posted a strong 7 percent gain in April, with car sales up 7.8 percent and truck sales up 5.9 percent. With Canadian sales up 13.7 percent through April, 1999 is shaping up well, says Dick Conlin, GM's vice president of marketing.
April was also a solid month for Ford of Canada, which reported a 1.6 percent improvement in sales. It was Ford's best-ever April for truck sales in Canada. Ford's car sales dipped 4.2 percent, but truck sales rose 4.5 percent. Sales of Ford's F-series pickup climbed nearly 25 percent over the same month last year.
Chrysler sales dropped 18.4 per-cent in April, contributing to a four-month decline of 9.0 percent.
April was another strong month for Mazda Canada Inc., with a 32.9 percent sales hike that helped bump up January-April sales 29.3 percent.
Honda Canada Inc. turned in a 9.9 percent April gain for Honda and Acura combined. Toyota Motor Corp.'s combined sales of Toyota and Lexus dipped 2.5 percent in April.