TORONTO - Canada's biggest car companies saw their sales slip further in May as import brands chipped away at the domestics' market share.
Two of the country's three biggest automakers reported weaker sales figures on Tuesday, dragging down overall Big 3 sales by about 4 percent, despite attractive incentive packages, including no-interest financing, designed to woo buyers into showrooms.
"They have to be disappointed. They are down at a time of record levels of incentives on their brands and it's just not working in the marketplace where most of the import brands, with little to no incentives, are up," said Dennis DesRosiers, an independent automotive analyst.
General Motors of Canada, the country's biggest automaker, said combined May sales dropped to 53,972 cars and light trucks, down 7.2 percent from 58,162 vehicles sold during the same month a year earlier.
The Oshawa, Ontario-based manufacturer said it sold 29,481 cars last month, down 8 percent from 32,045. Truck sales, which include SUVs and minivans, slipped 6.2 percent to 24,491 from 26,117.
DaimlerChrysler Canada said total May vehicle sales dipped 6.7 percent to 23,901 cars and trucks from 25,604 a year earlier.
Windsor, Ontario-based Chrysler Canada, said it sold 5,773 cars, down 15.8 percent from 6,854. Truck sales fell to 18,128, down 3.3 percent from 18,750.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada bucked the negative trend by posting a 5 percent gain, helped by strong truck sales.
Ford said it sold 28,460 vehicles, up 5.2 percent from 27,060 a year earlier.
The Oakville, Ontario-based company said it sold 19,053 trucks in May, up 6.1 percent from 17,964. Car sales were 9,407, up 3.4 percent from 9,096.
Year-over-year sales for the Big 3 producers were down a combined 9.8 percent for the first five months of this year as they struggle to keep up with last year's red hot sales numbers, which were spurred by major incentive packages.
In contrast, Toronto-based Toyota Canada Inc. set new sales records in May, with total vehicle sales climbing 10.8 percent to 20,910.
Sales of Toyota cars rose to 15,145 for the month, up 4.3 percent. Toyota truck sales jumped 34.3 percent to 4,879 units. Lexus sales climbed to 886 units, up 22.7 percent.