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Chrylser, Ford report strong September sales despite faltering economy


Canadians out shopping for cars last month apparently didn’t get the memo that the economy is stalling and consumer confidence waning.

Chrysler Canada and Ford Canada both reported a double-digit increase in September sales — some of their best sales in a decade or more.

Chrysler Canada said it sold 19,255 vehicles last month, a 19 percent increase from the year prior, for its best September since 2001.

Ford Canada, which has reigned as the best-selling automaker in Canada so far this year, said it had its second-best September in 33 years — topped only by last year’s record month.

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Although auto and truck sales actually fell about three percent to 25,656 from 26,453 last September, Ford reported that strong car sales, up 14 percent year-over-year, helped the company remain parked in the top spot for both the month and year-to-date.

Ford’s sales are up about 4.2 percent for the year-to-date at 219,304 from 210,451 during the period last year.

“We were up against an unusually strong September last year. The fact that our car sales continue to improve shows that our investment in smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles is paying off,” said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada.

While car sales improved for both September and by 21 percent year-over-year, its truck sales are seeing the opposite trend — falling seven percent last month and by a slight 0.8 percent so far this year.

Many consumers are making the shift to smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles as gas prices creep higher.

At Chrysler Canada, car sales doubled, but it also reported strong sales of some of its best-selling trucks.

Ram pickup trucks accounted for nearly one-third of Chrysler Canada’s total sales in September, with 6,047 sold — an all-time record for the month.

Jeep Wrangler was Chrysler’s second-biggest selling brand, with the number more than doubling to 1,281 vehicles last month from 602 sold a year earlier.

So far this year, Chrysler has sold a total of 183,071 cars and light trucks — a 14 percent increase over the first nine months of 2010.

The company has been recovering since a disastrous 2009, when its parent had to be bailed out by the U.S. and Canadian governments.