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Canadian Auto Sales Drop in November

Canadian auto sales weaken in November. The decrease is attributed to the recent surge of the Canadian dollar which significantly influenced the spending habits of shoppers.

"November was a soft month overall for industry retail sales," said Marc Comeau, the vice-president of sales at market leader GM Canada, which sold 28,071 vehicles for the month, with an 8.6 percent decline in passenger car sales and an 11.6 percent pullback in light trucks including SUVs, pickups and minivans. GM's decline in Canada was paralleled by an 11 percent drop in U.S. sales.

General Motors of Canada, the country's biggest automaker, said that its November sales dropped 10.2 percent year over year to 28,071 vehicles, as sales of both cars and trucks dived. Among the other Big 3 automakers, Chrysler Canada's sales rose 7.2 percent to 18,445, while Ford Motor Co. of Canada sales fell 8.4 percent to 15,909 vehicles, according to auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

DesRosiers noted the overall numbers may be skewed by the large number of Canadians taking advantage of a strong domestic currency to import vehicles from the United States. "I suspect December will offer some rebound but we may not want to expect too much," he said adding that the market in general has softened over the past few months.

Toyota Canada Inc. said that its November sales totaled 12,554, down 8.3 percent year over year, led by a 13.4 percent drop at its luxury Lexus division.

Honda Canada Inc., meanwhile, said that its combined November sales in its Honda and Acura divisions fell 2.7 percent from last year to 13,676 units, Reuters reported. Honda division sales were down 6.4 percent to 11,464 units. While its Acura division posted a 22.9 percent increase with sales of 2,212 units.

Achieving unsurpassed record sales were two products from the make of Acura axles. The MDX luxury sport-utility vehicle sold 880 units compared to the previous monthly record of 592 units and was up 65 percent over last year. The Acura RDX luxury crossover utility vehicle sold 481 units compared to the previous monthly record last year of 303 units, according to Canada NewsWire. Reporting record November sales was the Honda Ridgeline half-ton pickup truck with 511 units compared to the previous monthly record last year of 434 units.

The new 2008 Honda Accord sedan and coupe continued strong sales results in November with 2,117 units, up 70 percent over last year.

While Volkswagen AG's sales declined by 120 to 2,903, high-end German brands continued pulling in good numbers.

BMW AG, meanwhile, had its best-ever November in Canada, increased 16 percent to 1,956, while BMW's Mini division increased 17.8 percent to 265.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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