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Corolla, Matrix and RAV4 lead Toyota sales increase

Toyota Canada's February sales were up more than 25 per cent from a year earlier, suggesting a massive worldwide recall had not significantly affected the brand's popularity in this country.

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Toyota Canada's February sales were up more than 25 per cent from a year earlier, suggesting a massive worldwide recall had not significantly affected the brand's popularity in this country.

The company said Tuesday it sold 12,693 vehicles last month, including 902 Lexus luxury vehicles. Lexus sales were up 26.2 per cent to their best February ever, while sales of Toyota-brand vehicles were up 25.2 per cent.

Several models that were involved in a recall of 270,000 vehicles in Canada due to sticky accelerator pedals – including the Corolla, Matrix and RAV4 – reached their highest-ever February sales. The Prius, which was involved in a separate voluntary recall over its braking system, also set a record for February sales.

"We thank our customers for continued confidence in Toyota vehicles – vehicles that are reliable, safe and fuel-efficient," said Toyota Canada president Yoichi Tomihara. "We also thank our team members at our coast-to-coast dealerships for their quick and reliable work in servicing recall repairs and bringing peace of mind to our family of Toyota and Lexus customers."

The Japanese automaker has recalled 8.5 million vehicles worldwide in recent months to deal with safety problems involving gas pedals, floor mats and brakes, some of which have been linked to fatal accidents. The recalls are the subject of ongoing congressional hearings in the U.S., and it appears company officials will be also summoned to testify at a parliamentary committee about recent safety issues.

In the U.S., Toyota sales fell 9 per cent, with Camry sales dropping nearly 20 per cent, while Corolla sales slid 6 per cent. Sales of the Prius hybrid rose 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, Ford Canada said it beat out rival General Motors to sell the most vehicles in Canada last month. The company said its sales jumped by 51 per cent year over year to 17,920, marking the automaker's ninth consecutive month of sales improvements and 16th consecutive month of market-share gains.

Honda Canada said it sold 8,917 vehicles in February, up 27 per cent compared to a year earlier. Sales of Honda-brand vehicles were up 33 per cent while sales of Acura luxury vehicles were down 13 per cent.

"We are pleased to see the Canadian market gradually improving," said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada.

Other automakers will release their Canadian sales numbers later today.


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