The drop, to 93,549, marked the first time since February 2001 that monthly sales have dropped below 100,000. Only seven brands - BMW, Honda, Volvo, Toyota, Infiniti, Hyundai and Audi - reported higher sales in January.
Big 3 sales slid 25.1 percent in January despite the industry's heaviest spending on incentives. In contrast, the two Korean brands were up a combined 8.1 percent over a year earlier; Japanese nameplates rose 4.9 percent; and European nameplates increased 1.7 percent.
General Motors sales slid 33.7 percent in the month, with cars off 33.1 percent and trucks off 34.3 percent. Ford Division sales slumped 6.7 percent overall, with cars off 14.1 percent and trucks off 3.0 percent. Chrysler group sales declined 23.8 percent overall as car sales fell 26.3 percent and trucks fell 22.9 percent.
Among the Japanese, Infiniti Division was up 62.3 percent; Toyota Division, 15.0 percent; and Honda Division, 1.4 percent.
Mitsubishi, a newcomer to the Canadian market, sold 1,126 vehicles in January.
Hyundai sales rose 15.3 percent in January, while Kia sales dipped 2.0 percent. BMW, up 29.7 percent over a year earlier, Volvo, up 15.8 percent, and Audi, up 2.9 percent, were the only European nameplates with higher sales in January.