TORONTO -- Canadian monthly auto sales rose a healthy 11.2 percent in February, paced by strong numbers from General Motors, the country's biggest automaker, according to figures released Tuesday.
January and February are traditionally the weakest months of the year, and last month's jump helped offset a 4.5 percent decline in January.
"It's a good start to the year," said Dennis DesRosiers, an independent industry analyst. "But we unless we hit (higher) March to May, we still could be in trouble. We still haven't changed our forecast, we think the market's going to end up soft on the year."
Sales at General Motors of Canada surged 21.6 percent to 32,370 vehicles in February.
GM of Canada of Oshawa, Ontario, said car sales jumped 26.1 percent while light-truck sales, which include minivans and SUVs, were up 17.5 percent.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada said overall sales were flat last month at 14,888 units. Car sales rose 5.1 percent while truck sales reversed 1.5 percent.
DaimlerChrysler Canada reported a 24.6 percent increase in total sales to 15,839 as its car sales jumped 38.9 percent and truck sales rose 21.2 percent.
Toyota Canada, the Canadian unit of Japan's biggest automaker, said total sales fell 5.4 percent to 9,300 units in February. Car sales edged up 0.5 percent to 6,945 vehicles while truck sales slumped 19.2 percent to 2,355.