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2010 Ford F-150

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Some have been writing the obituary for Detroit's auto makers, but if the latest list of top 10 best-selling cars and light trucks is any indication, Detroit has not yet sucked in its last breath.

Look at what's been moving so far this year. Exactly half of Canada's best-selling vehicles come from Detroit. True, just two of the top passenger cars are from a Detroit-based auto maker, but eight of the top 10 light trucks come from Ford, General Motors or Chrysler. And light trucks dominate the overall market 55 per cent to 45 per cent.

This is surely a sign of two things:

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First, necessity. Very few Canadians spend extra money on a pickup, minivan or sport-utility simply to show off. Some do, of course. But for the most part, Canadians buy light trucks out of necessity - they need to tow or haul things.

Second, the economy. Light trucks are significantly more expensive than passenger cars right across the board. If they are selling briskly, it suggests consumers are feeling confident about the economy, thus they are ready to step up and commit big money on a new vehicle.

Lastly, note that overall, new vehicle sales are up 15.8 per cent on the year. It's early yet and the most important time of year in the car business is the spring selling season from March to July. But if you care about a healthy economy, the signs are looking good so far.

Here are the top 10 cars and light trucks so far this year in Canada:

Passenger Cars



2010

2009

gain/loss

Mazda3

6,284

5,575

12.7%

Honda Civic

6,009

5,035

19.3%

Toyota Corolla

4,536

5,277

-14.0%

Hyundai Elantra

3,497

2,886

21.2%

Hyundai Accent

3,201

3,643

-12.1%

Ford Focus

2,394

2,048

16.9%

Toyota Yaris

2,294

2,532

-9.4%

Toyota Matrix

2,265

2,277

-0.5%

Volkswagen Golf

2,179

899

142.4%

Chevrolet Cobalt

2,037

1,628

25.1%

Light Trucks



2010

2009

gain/loss

Ford F-Series

11,084

8,225

34.8%

Dodge Caravan

7,312

5,591

30.8%

Dodge Ram

5,987

3,300

81.4%

GMC Sierra

5,040

3,398

48.3%

Chevrolet Silverado

4,598

3,185

44.4%

This is surely a sign of two things:

Story continues below advertisement

First, necessity. Very few Canadians spend extra money on a pickup, minivan or sport-utility simply to show off. Some do, of course. But for the most part, Canadians buy light trucks out of necessity - they need to tow or haul things.

Second, the economy. Light trucks are significantly more expensive than passenger cars right across the board. If they are selling briskly, it suggests consumers are feeling confident about the economy, thus they are ready to step up and commit big money on a new vehicle.

Lastly, note that overall, new vehicle sales are up 15.8 per cent on the year. It's early yet and the most important time of year in the car business is the spring selling season from March to July. But if you care about a healthy economy, the signs are looking good so far.

Here are the top 10 cars and light trucks so far this year in Canada:

Vehicles

2010

2009

Per cent gain/loss

Mazda3

6284

5575

12.7

Passenger Cars

2010

2009

gain/loss

Mazda3

6,284

5,575

12.7%

Honda Civic

6,009

5,035

19.3%

Toyota Corolla

4,536

5,277

-14.0%

Hyundai Elantra

3,497

2,886

21.2%

Hyundai Accent

3,201

3,643

-12.1%

Ford Focus

2,394

2,048

16.9%

Toyota Yaris

2,294

2,532

-9.4%

Toyota Matrix

2,265

2,277

-0.5%

Volkswagen Golf

2,179

899

142.4%

Chevrolet Cobalt

2,037

1,628

25.1%

Light Trucks

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2010

2009

gain/loss

Ford F-Series

11,084

8,225

34.8%

Dodge Caravan

7,312

5,591

30.8%

Dodge Ram

5,987

3,300

81.4%

GMC Sierra

5,040

3,398

48.3%

Chevrolet Silverado

4,598

3,185

44.4%

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

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