February auto sales up on demand for pickups

The Big 3 automakers from Detroit reported an increase in Canadian sales in February, with pickup trucks once again outpacing sedan sales.

All Big 3 automakers report rising sales in Canada

Canada saw a record number of vehicles sold in 2015, and sales have continue strong through the first two months of the year. (John Bazemore/Associated Press)

Canadian auto sales continued to grow in February, following on a record 2015 and surging sales in January.

According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants total sales rose 9.1 per cents to 38,950 cars and 80,251 light trucks, a February sales record.

The Detroit Big 3 all reported an increase in sales in February, with pickup trucks once again outpacing sedan sales.

Ford saw a 23 per cent increase in 2015 compared to February 2015, with 18,403 vehicles sold last month.

Demand rose for the Ford F-Series pickup truck, which sold 9,941 in Canada and the Canadian-built Ford Edge, which had 1,200 sales.

GM Canada had a 14 per cent increase in sales to 15,729 vehicles, with Chevrolet models such as the Volt, the Spark, as well as Malibu and Camaro, drawing renewed interest.

FCA Canada reported a 1 per cent increase from 2015 to 18,813 vehicles in February.  Of that total, 6,784 were Ram pickups, a 20 per cent increase from last year.

U.S. sales bounce back

Toyota sold 14,284 Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles in the month, a 9.9 per cent increase and a February record.

Volkswagen was down 27 per cent as its diesel car sales remain suspended.

Honda and Acura sales rose 15 per cent to 9,586 vehicles, with tried and true models such as the Civic continuing to sell well, along with the Honda Pilot.

In the U.S., sales bounced back after a snowy January, with most manufacturers reporting gains.

Ford sales were up 20 per cent, Honda rose 13 per cent, Fiat Chrysler was up 12 per cent and Toyota reported a five per cent increase.

Ford chief economist Emily Kolinski Morris said improving job and income growth combined with low gas prices and low interest rates are bringing consumers into the dealerships.

The laggards were General Motors, whose sales fell 1.5 per cent in the U.S. because of diminishing rental sales and Volkswagen, whose U.S. sales fell 13 per cent. VW's reputation is suffering from its diesel emissions scandal.

With files from the Associated Press