Canadian consumers shied away from Big 3 cars and light trucks in May. But sales rose for some Japanese automakers.
Honda and Nissan, helped by light-truck sales, were the best performers. Honda was up 4.3 percent in May over May 2004, and Nissan sales rose 5.0 percent. Toyota was up 0.7 percent.
Overall, sales of light vehicles totaled 157,550 in May, off 3.1 percent from last May's total. The market has improved slightly in the first five months of the year: 647,126 sales, up 1.0 percent over the same period in 2004.
While Japanese automakers gained, DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Co. took sizable sales hits in May. DaimlerChrysler sales, which include those of Mercedes-Benz, fell 11.3 percent compared with the previous May. Ford Motor's sales were down 9.4 percent.
General Motors had an uneven month. It sold 3.7 percent fewer vehicles than it did in May 2004, but light-truck sales were a bright spot, jumping 8.3 percent. GM's performance in the first five months also improved 1.6 percent over the same period in 2004.
Chevrolet was the most popular brand in May with 21,075 sales. Ford Division was second with 20,684.
GM remained the No. 1 automaker in Canada, selling 193,242 vehicles in the first five months of this year. DaimlerChrysler, including Mercedes-Benz, was second with 94,625. Ford Motor, not including Mazda, was third with 93,811 units sold.
The Big 3 took 57.0 percent of the Canadian market for five months of the year, down from 58.1 percent during the same period last year. Japanese automakers have 31.7 percent.