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Canada’s auto makers will have highest pretax profits since 2002: report

File photo of cars for sale on the lot at a Toyota dealership in Toronto.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A report by the Conference Board of Canada says pretax profits for Canadian auto manufacturers are expected to reach $1.3-billion this year, the highest level since 2002.

However, the report also cautioned that although the Canadian auto industry is expected to add about 2,900 jobs in 2015, Mexico is also expected to surpass Canada in vehicle exports to the U.S. for the first time in that year.

The Conference Board says profits are expected to grow this year in Canada's auto industry due to booming vehicle sales on both sides of the border.

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The report notes that U.S. consumers, in particular, are replacing their older cars and trucks due to a steady increase in income, jobs, and credit availability.

It also says that retooling at several Canadian plants and increased competition from U.S. and Mexican facilities drove down auto production in Canada by 3.6 per cent in 2013.

This year, though, Canadian production will increase by 3.1 per cent.

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