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GM Canada August auto sales fall, rivals' rise

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Reuters / September 02, 2005 TORONTO -- General Motors of Canada reported a drop in August sales on Thursday as its employee pricing discount program lost momentum with customers, while the remaining Big Three automakers upped their sales. All three automakers offered customers vehicles at the same discounted price their employees pay to increase sales and make space on showroom floors for the 2006 models. But the program has not had the same effect at GM Canada as it did at DaimlerChrysler Canada and Ford Motor Co. of Canada. GM Canada said its August sales fell 3.6 percent to 39,306 vehicles from the 40,731 it sold in the same month last year -- which did not offer employee pricing to customers. The automaker said it will extend its employee discount program until the end of September in hopes of selling its remaining 2005 models. DaimlerChrysler Canada, the first Canadian manufacturer to introduce employee pricing to customers, said it moved 17,904 cars and trucks off its lots, up 23 percent from the 14,523 it sold in August 2004. It said the employee pricing program proved successful in moving out old models and it will now focus on bringing 2006 models to market. Ford Motor Co. of Canada said demand for fuel efficient vehicles as gasoline prices rose helped it move 16,547 vehicles out of its showroom, up 2.6 percent from the same month last year. But independent industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers noted that August was the first month that Ford Canada was outsold not only by GM Canada, but also by DaimlerChrysler Canada, and Honda Canada Inc. Honda Canada Inc. said August sales from its Honda and Acura divisions combined for 17,681 vehicles, a 8.3 percent increase from last August. Toyota Motor Corp. said August sales jumped 9.6 percent to 16,114 vehicles compared to the same month last year on strong demand for its Echo, Prius and Canadian-made Matrix vehicles. The Japanese automaker offered deals in August to help clear out its 2005 models.
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How do you compete when you have no product? We had a heck of a time finding a Cobalt in our area that even came close to what we wanted. For that matter we had to compromise which I'm sure many people won't.
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Its pretty disappointing that GM Canada was not able to post an increase with employee pricing. With gas prices the way they are I expect consumers to continue to shift to more fuel efficient cars in Canada and when people think of small, fuel efficient quality cars they think imports. DCX has nothing to offer since the Neon is junk. Ford only has the Focus which has a questionable reputation. GM has more offerings but they also have the most to lose. September sales should be very interesting.
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Plain and simple, the lots are empty here... some 2006's are beginning to roll in. Other than that they have Aveos, Optra Wagons and and 2 Colorados.. Apart from the Colorados and the 2006 Impalas/Trucks the rest of the cars on the lot should stay on the lot.... I don't like the Aveo or the optra.. they only spoil the GM image, I think they should keep all daewoos on the Suzuki lots!
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