Automakers sold 123,032 vehicles in Canada in February, setting a new record for the month, according to numbers released by the Global Automakers of Canada. It marked an increase of 3.2 percent over the same month a year ago.
Detroit faired well during the month. Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors all posted modest gains for a combined uptick of 3.1 percent.
GM posted the strongest growth -- a 5.1 percent increase -- among the Detroit 3 but remained in third place in terms of volume. Ford’s 3.1 percent sales gain beat FCA’s 1.5 percent increase, but it wasn’t enough to boost the automaker back into top spot. FCA retained that title both for the month and year-to-date.
Unlike U.S. trends, FCA’s growth was all on the car side (up 27 percent) while light trucks stood still. FCA’s truck mainstays, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Ram pickup, were strong in February but a slide on the Jeep side -- and a huge decline by the Ram Promaster City van -- left total truck sales treading water. Among FCA’s car results were the first sales (three) of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia sport sedan.
Ford, meanwhile, was consistent with industry trends. Its car sales slumped 11 percent while the F-150 set a February record as it led Ford/Lincoln light trucks to a 5.3 percent advance. Overall it was Ford of Canada’s best February since 2000, fueled mostly by strong gains for its SUVs and commercial vans.
Vans and SUVs also did the trick for GM of Canada. Its overall trucks sales grew 11.6 percent while passenger cars slid 13.1 per cent.
Light trucks represented 87 percent of combined Detroit sales in February.
Elsewhere, automakers showed mixed results. Subaru, Nissan/Infiniti, Porsche, BMW/MINI and Jaguar Land Rover advanced their sales while Toyota/Lexus, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia lost sales compared with February 2016.
Among the larger companies, Honda Canada sold 10,409 units, good for a 21.7 percent increase. Mazda also posted an increase, up 15 percent with 4,533 vehicles sold compared to 3,942 last year.
Volkswagen brand slipped 8.9 percent.