March 20, 2009

New car sales in Canada up in January

New motor vehicle sales in Canada defied a slumping economy and rose 5.5 percent to 119,231 units in January, Statistics Canada reported from Ottawa Friday.

Sales of new minivans, sport utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses outpaced passenger car sales with an 8.6 percent gain, or 58,784 units. That wasn't enough to offset the 20.4 percent decline in sales in December, StatsCan said.

Sales of passenger cars increased 2.7 percent to 60,447 units in January, led by North American-built passenger cars, which rose 3.5 percent after declines of around 12 percent in each of the previous two months, the agency said.

Regionally, new vehicle sales were up in eight of the 10 provinces, with declines posted in Nova Scotia and Quebec, the report said.