Ford Motor Co. of Canada has reported a dip in September sales compared with a year ago, but still claimed the title of top-selling automaker in Canada last month.

The automaker said Tuesday that new vehicle sales for September were down eight per cent compared with a year ago as sales fell to 23,600 vehicles from 25,656.

Total sales of Ford cars slipped 11 per cent for the month compared with a year ago to 4,994 from 5,667, while truck sales fell 6.9 per cent to 18,606 from 19.989.

The results at Ford came as Chrysler Canada reported its best September sales since 2000 as improved car sales more than offset lower truck sales, in a reversal of the trend reported at Ford.

Its total sales for the month rose to 1.6 per cent from a year ago to 19,555 vehicles.

Chrysler said car sales were up 35.6 per cent compared with a year ago, while truck sales were down 3.9 per cent.

"Fuel efficient vehicles like the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500 helped grow our passenger car sales by 36 per cent in September," said Dave Buckingham, chief operating officer of Chrysler Canada.

"In addition, record sales of the Chrysler 200 have propelled Chrysler to be the number one seller of mid-size cars in Canada."

New labour deals reached

General Motors of Canada Ltd. reported sales of its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac brands were up 12 per cent in September.

The increase came as Chevrolet sales were up 13 per cent on a 23 per cent increase in car sales and a six per cent increase in truck sales. Buick gained 31 per cent compared with a year ago, while GMC sales added 10 per cent.

The results follow the most recent round of contract talks between the U.S. automakers and the Canadian Auto Workers union that were completed without any strikes or lockouts.

The agreements saw the union accept no wage increases and lump sum payments instead of cost-of-living increases.

The new contract also set a lower starting wage for new employees and extended the time it will take them to reach the top of the scale.

Meanwhile, the Japanese carmakers, hit hard last year in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled production, continued to report improved results.

Honda Canada said combined September sales of its Honda and Acura brands totalled 12,911 vehicles, an increase of 16 per cent compared with last year.

Breaking down the sales, Honda sold 11,457 vehicles for the month, up 21 per cent from a year ago, helped by sharply higher sales of its Ridgeline pickup truck, while Acura sales totalled 1,454 vehicles.

Toyota sales up 12%

Toyota said sales were up 21 per cent from a year ago as it reported its best September ever for sales of trucks and hybrids.

Sales of Toyota's Lexus luxury brand were up 24.1 per cent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, BMW Group Canada reported sales of 3,944 vehicles under the BMW and Mini brands for September, up 19.9 per cent compared with September 2011.

BMW sales amounted to 3,331 vehicles for the month, up 18 per cent, while Mini sales totalled 613 units, up 31.8 per cent.

Kia Canada said it sold 7,030 new vehicles last month, up 10.1 per cent from a year ago, driven by its Forte family of cars.

Kia said the increase for the month was the latest in 45 months of continued sales growth.

"Kia Canada's dynamic vehicle lineup is attracting consumers purchasing vehicles from all segments," said Jack Uczciwek, Kia Canada's director of sales.

South of the border, Toyota saw the biggest sales increase.

Toyota sales rose 42 per cent from a year earlier, while Volkswagen jumped 34 per cent from September 2011.

Detroit didn't fare as well. Chrysler reported a 12 per cent increase, but General Motors and Ford sales were either up slightly or flat.