Canada New Vehicle Sales Fall In February

Statistics Canada reports sales of new motor vehicles fell 2.2 percent to 115,187 units in February, but preliminary data shows sales rose six percent in March.

OTTAWA (CP) -- Sales of new motor vehicles fell 2.2 percent to 115,187 units in February -- entirely the result of falling truck sales.

Statistics Canada reports preliminary data indicate sales rose about six percent in March.

Sales of new trucks (minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses) were down five percent to 54,834 units in February, while sales of passenger cars rose 0.4 percent to 60,353 units.

There was a 6.1 percent gain in sales of overseas-built passenger cars, their largest increase since March 2008, while sales of North American-built passenger cars dropped 3.5 percent.

The number of new motor vehicles sold declined in seven provinces in February, with Alberta (down 12.5 percent) and British Columbia (down 11.6) the biggest losers.

Sales in Ontario increased for the second straight month; Quebec and Nova Scotia also recorded increases.

The agency says monthly sales have averaged around 115,000 units countrywide since December 2008, whereas the average over the previous three years was almost 140,000 units.

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