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Auto sales in Canada fell 7.2 per cent in June from a year earlier, hit by a drop in passenger car sales, according to industry data released on Wednesday, marking a decline for the sixteenth straight month.

The country’s auto sales plunged to 185,741 units in June from 200,156 units sold a year earlier, according to a report released by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, a market research firm that tracks the sector.

Majority of auto makers in Canada reported a fall in passenger car sales, pointing to a shift in customer demand for bigger and more SUVs. Sales of passenger cars dropped about 21.3 per cent in June, while light truck sales fell marginally.

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According to the DesRosiers, although nearly all high volume brands reported sales setbacks for the month, sales for Ford Motor, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Canada, were down 4.5 per cent overall with the three brands jointly performing better than the rest of the manufacturers in Canada.

General Motors, which reports sales on a quarterly basis, said total sales for the second quarter fell 13.7 per cent to 77,643 units.

Toyota Canada, the Canadian distributor of Toyota Motor Corp and Lexus vehicles, however sold 22,769 vehicles in June, down 2.2 per cent from the year-ago period.

“Looking at the glass half full, if sales for the remainder of 2019 track along current levels, we will still have one of the better sales years ever in Canada,” David Adams, president of industry association Global Automakers of Canada, said in a separate report.

Among major auto firms, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported a 4-per-cent fall in total June auto sales in Canada.

The company, which is one of the top car makers in the country, sold 21,566 vehicles in June, with its Chrysler brand reporting a 30-per-cent fall in sales.

Sales in the United States, however, rose nearly 2 per cent to 206,083, driven by a 56-per-cent jump in Ram sales.

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