Vehicle sales in Canada soared 5.7 percent in 2012 to 1.68 million units, thanks to the higher demand for fuel-efficient passenger cars, fashionable European imports, and well-priced Korean models. Ford Motor Co. of Canada was the No. 1 carmaker in the country for three straight years. Chrysler Canada, however, managed to bump off General Motors of Canada from the No. 2 position, with the latter sliding to No. 3.
Analysts expect vehicle sales in Canada to continue to rise in 2013, with the possibility of exceeding the sales record of 1.7 million units posted in 2002. Analysts attribute the continued rise to pent-up demand left over from the recession and higher employment particularly in Western Canada.
Independent auto sector analyst Dennis DesRosiers is expecting another good year in 2013, but warned of the softness evident in late 2012. Ford revealed Thursday that it sold 276,068 vehicles in Canada in 2012 including over 100,000 F-Series trucks, which has been the top-selling vehicle in the country for the third year in a row.
Chrysler Canada posted a 6-percent increase in vehicle sales to 243,845 in 2012, its best for retail sales figures since 2000. According to Chrysler Canada President and Chief Executive Reid Bigland, their investment in fuel-efficient new vehicles and power trains has propelled them to become the second best-selling carmaker in 2012.
Bigland expects Chrysler Canada to log strong sales in 2013. On the other hand, Ford of Canada president and chief executive Dianne Craig disclosed that the carmaker is confident of further growth this year.
GM of Canada fell to third place after logging a 6.6-percent drop in vehicle sales in 2012 to 226,825 units. GM of Canada President and Managing Director Kevin Williams described the vehicle market in Canada as "highly competitive." The Detroit Three automakers managed to retain their bear share of the Canadian market in 2012, although it dropped from 47.2 percent in 2011 to 44.5 percent, due largely to the continued sales increase of imported vehicles, according to data from DesRosiers.