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Economy Canadian auto sales drop 2.5 per cent in March as decline continues

Canada’s auto sales fell 2.5 per cent in March from a year earlier, marking 13 straight months of declines, according to industry data released on Tuesday.

A report released by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said auto sales fell to 181,800 units in March, down from 186,447 units a year earlier.

Sales of passenger cars dropped about 10 per cent, while light truck sales were marginally up 0.6 per cent.

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In January, Canada’s economy grew by 0.3 per cent, as the country’s construction and manufacturing sectors picked up.

According to the report, Ford Motor Co’s Canada division posted total March sales of 27,915 units, up 7.2 per cent from a year earlier, while rival General Motors Co’s sales plunged 18.4 per cent in the country.

Separately, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported an 11 per cent fall in total March sales in Canada.

The company, which is among the top four car makers in the country, sold 21,684 vehicles in March, with its Alfa Brand reporting a 56 per cent drop in sales. Fiat Chrysler’s sales in the United States dropped 7.3 per cent, hit by a decline in sales across all of its major brands, except RAM trucks.

In the U.S., automakers reported weak sales for March and the first quarter, citing a rough start to the year. But the companies said a robust economy as well as strong labour market should encourage consumers to buy more vehicles in the coming months of this year.

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