A December to remember

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Perhaps the Canadian slide has started to turn as both Ford and Toyota post solid sales numbers for the last month of 2009.

Call it the December to remember. Ford of Canada reported sales up more than 25 per cent last month with 17,930 vehicles sold. That total bested 2008’s December total of just over 14,000.

The company also saw overall sales for 2009 top 225,000, a 6.7 per cent increase over 2008.

“Canadian consumers showed confidence in the Ford brand and recognized the quality and value in our lineup,” president and CEO David Mondragon said in a news release.

“We grew our sales despite a down industry, powered by the freshest showroom in the country,” he said, noting that Ford had more product launches than any other automaker in 2009.  

Toyota also closed 2009 with a strong showing. The former world’s largest automaker cited preliminary year-end results in saying December ’09 represented its best-ever December in Canada.

Yearly totals were pegged at “approximately” 205,028 units, making 2009 its second-best yearly total in Canada.

Other early winners in the December sales race include Hyundai – which saw a healthy 37 per cent gain on 2008 numbers with 5,881 units sold. The sales last month actually helped push the South Korean automaker over 100,000 sold in Canada for the first time in its 26-year history.

“This has been an unforgettable year,” said Steve Kelleher, president and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “I’m elated to look back on 2009 and see a year of milestones achieved and sales records broken.  Our market share growth is truly remarkable.”

- with files from The Canadian Press