Toyota May Become Number 2 Automaker in Canada

Joshua Duval
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2007 Toyota Prius

Toyota said over the weekend that a preliminary tally is showing sales of more than 224,100 cars and trucks in Canada in 2008, eleven percent more than the previous year. Such a gain would put it firmly past Ford and Chrysler in Canadian auto sales.

General Motors will remain the largest automaker in Canada, both by sales volume and production output. Though it was the second-largest automaker in Canada last year, Chrysler's abrupt exit from leasing and a lack of a subcompact model have resulted in a massive sales drop. Ford and Chrysler regularly vie for the number 2 sales spot in Canada, but an import brand has never taken that position.

Sandy Di Felice, a spokesman for Toyota, said Prius sales rose 34 percent from 2007, and several other models including the Corolla and Lexus RX-two models built in Canada-had double-digit sales gains compared with 2007. Total vehicle sales fell 10 percent in November in Canada, and some economists estimate that automakers sold a total of 1.65 million vehicles in Canada in 2008. Predictions of U.S. light vehicle sales are hovering at around 13.2 million for 2008, 3 million units less than 2007.

Source: Financial Post

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