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Chrysler Canada's Brampton assembly plant in April 2008. (PETER JONES/REUTERS)
Chrysler Canada's Brampton assembly plant in April 2008. (PETER JONES/REUTERS)

Auto news

Chrysler tops Canadian auto sales in first quarter of 2012 Add to ...

Chrysler said on Tuesday it sold more vehicles in Canada in March than any of its competitors, the third month in a row that the Detroit auto maker took the top spot, with demand especially strong for its line-up of passenger cars.

Sales at Chrysler, which makes Ram pick-up trucks as well as Jeep, Dodge and Fiat models, rose 8 per cent last month to 22,703, the company said. Chrysler was No. 3 in sales in Canada last year behind Ford Canada and General Motors.

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Chrysler said its sales were up 12 per cent year-on-year at 55,823 in the first quarter of 2012.

Sales of Chrysler trucks, up 1.6 per cent at 18,361 last month, still dwarfed sales of passenger cars at 4,342. But car sales were up 50 per cent from March 2011.

Strong Canadian vehicle sales this year have taken the market by surprise, as the overall economy remains sluggish. High fuel prices have helped to stimulate demand for smaller fuel-efficient passenger cars.

Across the border, U.S. auto sales continued their robust pace in March, boosted by consumers with more confidence in a recovering U.S. economy who want to buy fuel-efficient cars and trucks in the face of rising gasoline prices.

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