TORONTO (Reuters) -- New vehicle sales in Canada at both Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group accelerated in March, lifted by strong demand for pick-up trucks, the companies said today. GM sales fell 11 percent during the month.
Ford said it was Canada's top auto-seller for the month, while Chrysler said year-to-date sales maintained its spot as the country's leading seller for 2013.
Ford's total vehicle sales rose 1.6 percent in March, to 25,092 vehicles from 24,690 in the same period last year, as a gain in truck sales more than offset waning demand for new cars.
Truck sales were 2.8 percent higher at 19,046 vehicles, while car sales declined 1.8 percent to 6,046 vehicles.
Chrysler said total sales in Canada rose 6.5 percent to 24,173 vehicles from 22,703 in March 2012.
Car sales jumped 20 percent to 5,217 vehicles, as truck sales increased 3.2 percent to 18,956 vehicles.
"We experienced our best Ram truck sales in our history this month," Chrysler Canada COO Dave Buckingham said in a statement.
Year-to-date, total vehicle sales at Chrysler Canada are up 4 percent at 58,018 units, the company said.
GM sales fell 11 percent to 20,218 vehicles. GM touted a 10 percent gain in Chevy's smaller cars during the first quarter compared with the same three months last year.
"Canadian customers are embracing Chevrolet's family of smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles," Marc Comeau, GM of Canada's vice-president of sales, service and marketing, said in a statement.
"Sales of passenger cars are growing stronger as the Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze, Volt and Malibu all had sales increases in the first quarter of 2013. The all-new Chevrolet Impala joins the portfolio of Chevrolet cars in the coming weeks for families looking for a full-size sedan."
Philip Nussel of Automotive News contributed to this report.