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Canadian auto sales fall third month in a row

Canadian auto sales fall third month in a row

SARAH DEA/The Globe and Mail

Vehicle sales fell 1 per cent in Canada last month, the third straight monthly dip after hitting the second-highest level on record in 2012.

Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., grabbed top spot in March, knocking off Chrysler Canada Inc., but Chrysler held on to first place in the sales race for the first three months of the year.

Ford sold 25,092 vehicles last month, up 2 per cent from 24,690 in March, 2012.

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Chrysler said it hung on to the lead in yearly sales with a 6 per cent increase to 24,173 from 22,703 in March, 2012.

Meanwhile in the United States, Chrysler Group LLC said its vehicle sales in March were the best since December, 2007, and estimated the industry's annual sales rate last month was 15.6 million.

Chrysler, a unit of Italian auto maker Fiat SpA, said March sales totalled 171,606 vehicles, up 5 per cent from 163,381 a year earlier. The Fiat, Dodge and Ram Truck brands all posted increases.

Chrysler's estimate of the industry's seasonally adjusted annual rate in March is in line with an average SAAR of 15.3 million from a group of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Chrysler's total includes about 300,000 heavy-duty vehicles, while the Thomson Reuters poll excluded such vehicles.

Ford, the No. 2 U.S. auto maker, said March was its best month since May, 2007. Ford sold 236,160 vehicles in March in the United States.

With Reuters

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