Ford is No. 1

TORONTO — Ford claimed top spot in Canadian auto sales for the second month in a row as the number of vehicles its sold in July rose by 47.4 per cent above the same month last year.

TORONTO — Ford claimed top spot in Canadian auto sales for the second month in a row as the number of vehicles its sold in July rose by 47.4 per cent above the same month last year.

The company said Tuesday it sold 26,788 vehicles in July. The number of trucks sold by Ford (NYSE:F) was up 59.9 per cent to 21,668 while car sales rose by 10.9 per cent to 5,120.

The jump came as light vehicle sales in Canada overall dropped by 6.4 per cent compared with a year ago to 139,901 from 149,515 in July 2008, according to numbers compiled by industry analyst DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc

Total year-to-date sales for Ford in Canada are 2.3 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

“People are noticing a difference at Ford and we’ll stay focused on what matters most to consumers,” Ford of Canada president and CEO David Mondragon said in a statement.

Ford is the only North American automaker that didn’t require government assistance and a trip to bankruptcy court this year and it has benefited from the uncertainty and temporary shutdowns at General Motors and Chrysler.

Ford was followed by General Motors, which saw its sales fall 41.6 per cent to 19,527 from 33,418.

Toyota Canada Inc. claimed third place with reported sales of 19,232 vehicles in its Toyota and Lexus brands, down 12.5 per cent from July 2008.

Lexus sold 1,512 cars, up 13.9 per cent, boosted by a sharp increase in sport-utility vehicle sales which totalled 887, up 87.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Toyota sales fell 14.2 per cent to 17,720, offset in part by a 19 per cent increase in truck sales which gained 19 per cent to 5,931.

Chrysler Canada sold 15,891, down 10.1 per cent from 17,673 a year ago.

“Given what we have been through, it was a spike-the-ball-in-the-end-zone kind of month” Chrysler Canada president and CEO Reid Bigland said in a statement.

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