Ford Canada inching closer to title of Canadas bestselling automaker for 2012

The Canadian auto industry has seen incredible growth in 2012, and we are pleased that Ford of Canada has outpaced it in NovemberTORONTO — Ford Canada is on the road to taking the title of Canada’s best-selling automaker this year, after reporting its best November in more than a decade and taking first place for sales for another month.The Oakville, Ont.-based subsidiary of one of Detroit’s big three automakers said Monday that its November sales rose to 19,447, up 7.4% from a year ago, marking its best November since 2001.That was about 2,400 more units than at Chrysler Canada, which had its best November since 2000.Ford’s Canadian car sales rose 14%, while truck sales were up 6%.“November was a record-breaking month for Ford of Canada,” said Dianne Craig, president and CEO at Ford of Canada.“The Canadian auto industry has seen incredible growth in 2012, and we are pleased that Ford of Canada has outpaced it in November.”For the first 11 months of 2012, Ford’s sales rose 1% to 259,194 vehicles from 256,597 in 2011.The Ford Focus car had its best November since 2003 with a 37% rise.Sales of the Ford Transit Connect cross-over vehicle were up 93% and sales of the Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle were up 47%. Both vehicles had their best November on record.The Canadian built Ford Edge, Flex and Lincoln MKT saw increases of 21%, 25% and 34%, respectively.Meanwhile, rival Chrysler Canada said it sold 17,013 vehicles in Canada last month, up five% from November 2011, when the company sold 16,244.Chrysler said the increase helped it post its longest growth streak in its history at 36 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth. Chrysler also called it the best start to a year through 11 months since 2000.Passenger car sales improved to 2,802 cars sold for the month, up from 1,909 sold in the same month, one year ago.Total truck sales dipped to 14,211 compared with 14,335 in November 2011.Japanese automaker Toyota Canada said November sales of 14,512 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles fell just slightly from 14,563 sold last November. However, year-to-date Toyota sales are up 21.1% from last year, when the company was struggling to pump out supply after Japan’s devastating tsunami in March.The company said sales of its trucks, of Lexus vehicles and hybrids all had record months.Fellow Japanese carmarker Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. said year-over-year sales grew 20% to 10,101 units for the best November in its history. Hyundai has sold 128,420 vehicles in Canada year-to-date, a gain of 4.6% over the first 11 months of last year.Kia Canada reported its best November ever with sales up to 5,719 vehicles, a 17.8% year-over-year increase. For the first 11 months of the year, sales are up 19.7%.In the U.S., carmakers from Chrysler to Volkswagen reported brisk demand in November, and said sales rose on everything from small SUVs to sedans.November sales, when calculated on an annual basis, are likely to be 15 million or more, the highest rate since March of 2008, according to LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area industry consulting firm.That’s higher than the 14.3 million annual rate so far this year, even though November is normally a lacklustre month due to cold weather and holiday anticipation.The Canadian Press read more

New head of UN Kosovo mission optimistic about a status settlement

Speaking at the headquarters of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in Pristina yesterday, Joachim Rücker said work would focus on preparing for the operation’s departure and the handover of Kosovo to the appropriate authorities, as determined by a final status settlement. The UN has run Kosovo, an Albanian-majority Serbian province, since international forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting. Independence and autonomy are among options that have been mentioned for its final status.“I recognize and I respect that minority communities in Kosovo, especially the Kosovo Serb community, need special reassurances, and I would emphasize that the majority population has an obligation and responsibility to reach out to the minorities more than ever before,” said Mr. Rücker, who assumes his post on 1 September and said he expects to be the Secretary-General’s “last” Special Representative there.He said the key tasks ahead included the creation of stable institutions, a peaceful and secure environment, economic development, and minority participation in Kosovo’s life.“I have great faith in the people of Kosovo, and in particular I have great faith in Kosovo’s young generation, a generation that has the opportunity to live in peace and prosperity,” he said.Mr. Rücker added that UNMIK would work to leave behind a united Kosovo, despite the fact that Serbia rejects the idea of independence and Kosovo’s Serbs have been boycotting the province’s local government.“We cannot and we will not accept partition as an option,” he said. “Engagement with UNMIK and with the Kosovo Institutions is the only method of ensuring that the Kosovo Serb concerns are addressed and an acceptable solution is found.” read more