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Ford Tops Canadian New-Car Market in March

Ford Tops Canadian New-Car Market in March; Chrysler Claims 1Q Lead

The Canadian new-vehicle market climbed nearly 3 percent in March with several brands enjoying record sales, closing what was a strong first quarter.

Specifically, there were 157,750 new vehicles sold in Canada last month, up 2.8 percent year-over-year, according to the latest Market Snapshot from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

Through March, sales have reached 361,959 units for an 8.4-percent year-over-year gain.

Despite its sales falling 3.3 percent, Ford took the top spot in March from Chrysler, as the Blue Oval moved 24,674 units. Chrysler moved from first in February to third in March, as it sold 22,545 vehicles. This, however, was an 8.4-percent year-over-year improvement.

General Motors placed second in the Canadian market, selling 22,684 vehicles (down 7.4 percent).

As for quarterly sales, Chrysler took the top spot, moving 55,420 units (up 12 percent)

"We've had a lot of success over the years on the truck side of our business, but to see the overwhelming appeal of our products on the passenger car side is phenomenal," shared Dave Buckingham, Chrysler Canada's chief operating officer. "In fact, the Fiat 500 and Chrysler 200 posted their biggest sales month since their launch approximately one year ago."

Domestics combined to move 69,903 units (down 1.3 percent) while their import counterparts climbed 6.3 percent at 87,847 sales for March as several reported record months.

One of the many was Mercedes-Benz Canada. The group had its strongest March and best first quarter on record, while the Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle and light trucks operation had its best month in history (March or otherwise) and also posted its best first quarter ever.

As a group, the company sold 3,403 units in March with the Mercedes-Benz brand selling 3,074 passenger cars and light trucks. The smart division moved 78 vehicles and there 251 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter sales during the month, as well.

"I am extremely pleased to end the first quarter of 2012 by reporting such stellar sales results," stated Mercedes-Benz president and chief executive officer Tim Reuss. "I would like to express my profound gratitude on behalf of the entire company to every dealer in our Canadian network for their individual contributions to these outstanding figures.

"We are extremely fortunate to be represented by such a distinguished and highly motivated group of brand champions from coast-to-coast," he continued. "Our customers can be assured that the collective resolve of every employee from our head office through to our retail operations will remain squarely focused on providing extraordinary products and an unrivaled ownership experience at every turn."