Canada’s biggest car makers have said that September car and truck sales were mostly higher than a year earlier, when the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US sent consumer confidence plunging and kept customers out of dealerships, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, General Motors of Canada reported total vehicle sales up 23.7% to 46,749, led by car sales that jumped 29% while year-to-date sales at GM stood at 394,818 vehicles, 11.6% ahead of last year’s pace.

Reuters said interest-free financing and other deals designed to bolster demand in the face of a North American economic downturn have boosted this year’s sales.

Ford Canada reported a 21.8% jump in vehicle sales to 21,203, Reuters said, and, while car sales enjoyed a larger rise of 33.1%, overall Ford sold more than twice as many trucks as cars with year-to-date total sales up 6.1% over the first three quarters of 2001.

However, Reuters noted, DaimlerChrysler Canada September sales were off 7.1% year on year as car and truck sales declined to 17,910 from 19,276, led by an 8.1% drop in truck sales, though year-to-date sales were ahead 2.6% at 188,367, compared with last year.