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Ford says tops Canada 2013 auto sales, others growing faster

The Ford logo is pictured on the rooftop of Austria's Ford head branch in Vienna March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
The Ford logo is pictured on the rooftop of Austria's Ford head branch in Vienna March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

TORONTO (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's Canadian arm sold fewer vehicles in December than a year earlier but held its position as the country's best-selling automaker in 2013 as truck sales helped it notch overall growth of 2.7 percent, the company said on Friday.

Chrysler said it took second place, with a 4.7 percent jump in December sales and 6.6 percent growth for the year, helped by record sales of its Ram trucks.

General Motors Co meanwhile posted the biggest gain in December sales, up 17 percent, while taking third place for the year with 4 percent growth. Its Cadillac brand notched 44.6 percent annual sales gains for its best-ever Canadian sales.

Ford said it was their best year for Canadian sales since 1997, with the F-Series pickup truck leading all vehicle sales for the fourth straight year. The company's Fusion and Escape models also recorded their best-ever sales.

Honda Motor Co Ltd <7267.T> said its Civic was Canada's top-selling car for the 16th straight year. Honda's monthly sales nudged slightly higher overall to 13,316, but grew 10.4 percent for the year to 164,236.

Ford's total vehicle sales in December slipped 4.2 percent to 16,161, as it sold fewer cars than a year ago. For the year, it sold 283,588 vehicles, an increase of 2.7 percent.

Chrysler sold 15,445 vehicles in December and 260,015 in all of 2013, while GM sold 17,036 vehicles in December and 234,944 in the year. Chrysler is owned by Italy's Fiat SpA .

Ford said in September that it would invest C$700 million ($659 million) in its Oakville assembly plant as North American demand surged to pre-recession levels.

($1 = 1.0623 Canadian)

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Matthew Lewis)

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