Major Canadian automakers reported mostly higher sales in October as heavy discounting by the Big Three helped shore up numbers, Reuters reported.

Total sales were down 1.1% from October last year and, for the year to date, sales are off about 4.9%, the report added.

General Motors of Canada, the country's biggest automaker, said total monthly sales rose 8.3% to 33,359 vehicles in October. Car sales were up 14.9% and light truck sales, which include minivans and SUVs, edged up 2.1% over the same month last year.

"The GM number is interesting in that it represents two continuing trends," industry consultant Dennis Desrosiers told Reuters. "First, their willingness to stay in the incentive game and, second, their shift in segment focus to entry level vehicles primarily from Korea. Desrosiers added that focus was helping the automaker, whose entry level models include the GM Daewoo-built Chevrolet Aveo [Kalos] and Optra [Lacetti], make gains and hold market share.

Sales by Ford's Canada unit slipped 3.9% to 15,183 units, Reuters said. Truck sales were up 0.8% while car sales fell 16.7%.

DaimlerChrysler Canada reported a 0.3% rise in total sales to 16,734 as a 5.6% increase in car sales offset a 1.2% retreat in truck sales, the report said.

According to Reuters, sales by Toyota Canada rose 18.9% to 13,805 in October.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more