Canada October auto sales slide 1.9 percent

FILE PHOTO – Ford and Lincoln vehicles are parked outside the Oakville Assembly Plant, as workers with UNIFOR attended a ratification vote nearby, in Oakville, Ontario, Canada November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) – Canada’s auto sales slid for the seventh straight month in October as demand for new cars waned with rising interest rates.

Total auto sales were 161,125 units, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier.

“Consumer … confidence does not seem to have extended to big ticket items like vehicles that are more sensitive to interest rate increases,” said David Adams, president of Global Automakers of Canada (GAC), an industry body.

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates for the fifth time in 15 months in October, while reiterating that more rate hikes will follow as it looks to meet its inflation target.

General Motors Co (GM.N), the country’s biggest carmaker, edged out Ford Motor Co (F.N) in selling the most number of vehicles in October. GM’s sales were, however, down 12.9 percent for the month.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU.N), among the top four carmakers, recorded a 14.8 percent drop in sales from last year. In contrast, Toyota’s sales jumped 9.9 percent.

Ford F-Series pick-up truck was the best-selling vehicle, while Honda Civic took the top position for passenger cars, according to GAC.

U.S. auto sales rose slightly in October, hit by rising interest rates and higher vehicle prices. Earlier in the day, No.2 carmaker Ford Motor Co. (F.N) indicated sales volumes would continue to moderate in 2018 as consumer confidence fell.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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