Ford takes sales crown for Canada

Ford Motor Co. of Canada officially claimed the top sales spot in Canada in 2010, surpassing General Motors of Canada for the first time in more than 50 years.

Ford also said Tuesday that with 97,913 units sold in 2010 in Canada, its F-Series pick-up truck was also the best-selling vehicle ever in a single year in Canadian history, in a year where pick-up trucks are poised to outsell passenger cars for the first time in the country as well, driven by the hefty incentives being offered to consumers.

“Sales titles are nice to have but we remain focused on building long-term, sustainable, profitable growth,” said David Mondragon, Ford of Canada chief executive. “We expect the Canadian market to grow moderately this year, by about 2%”

Ford said it finished the year with its strongest December sales in more than a decade with 19,477 cars and trucks sold during the month, up 8.6% from a year ago.

That added to the 19% sales increase experienced at the automaker in 2010, which saw 267,974 Ford vehicles sold across the country, up from 225,216 in 2009. Results were driven by strong performance across the entire lineup including the Ford Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Transit Connect, Escape, Edge, Lincoln MKX and MKT, which all saw year-over-year sales gains, the company said.

“With fuel prices rising at the pump, history shows consumers will begin migrating from trucks to cars in 2011,” Mondragon said. “With our strong focus on fuel-efficient cars, Ford can take advantage of this shift in buying behaviour.”

Mr. Mondragon has said he expects Ford’s Fiesta and all-new Focus to drive those sales in the important compact and sub-compact segments in 2011. Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. also announced Tuesday it had its best year of sales on record in 2010, with 118,507 vehicles sold across the country, up nearly 15% from 2009. During the month of December, Hyundai sold 6,104 units, an increase of 18.4% over the same month in 2009.

The rest of the automakers are expected to release their sales figures later Tuesday.

Photograph by: Ford, handout