Cars sales spike in January

Canadians and Americans went to car dealers by the thousands in January, pushing many major automakers to record monthly sales.
Kia Canada Inc recorded its best-ever sales in January and a quick start to 2011 with 3,049 sales and a 26.2 per cent increase versus 2010. This was the first time in Kia Canada’s 11-year history that sales volume surpassed 3,000 vehicles in January.
General Motors dealers in the US reported a 23 percent increase from a year ago for the company’s four brands. The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 36 percent higher than a strong January a year ago.  For the month, overall GM fleet sales were down seven percent with sales to rental fleets declining 11 percent, while sales to commercial customers rose seven percent.
BMW Group Canada achieved a record January with 1,373 cars, an increase of nearly 15 percent, or 175 units, over the same period last year. Included in the numbers were the BMW and Mini brands.
Chrysler’s total January sales represented a gain of 14 percent over the same month last year, led by the the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan with sales that were up 39 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hyundai Auto Canada Corp sold 6,684 units in January, surpassing the company’s previous January sales record set in 2010 by 9.9 percent.
Subaru Canada, Inc sold 1,753 vehicles, up 1.4 percent over last January. Outback sales jumped up 15.7 percent over last January.
Results were mixed for Toyota Canada Inc with sales of 9,051 Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, trucks and SUVs in January 2011, down 1.6 percent from a year earlier. The high point for the month was a 2.8 percent increase in car sales over last year.
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported a decrease of 9.1 percent last month versus January of 2010, primarily due to a substantial reduction in fleet sales.
Nissan Canada Inc’s sales dropped 12.8 percent over January 2010. Sales of Infiniti decreased 22.9 percent over the same month last year, with sales of the Nissan brand down 11.9 percent over January 2010.
Combined January sales of 4,041 units by the Honda and Acura divisions represented a 37 percent decrease over last year’s sales.  The Honda Automobile Division was down 39 percent from last year, while Acura declined by 20 percent.