Canada light-vehicle sales increased for the second consecutive month in September, highlighted by Toyota Canada Inc. and Honda Canada Inc. surging past Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. for the month.

Ford dropped into fifth place among September’s market leaders.

September sales totaled 135,502 units, compared with year-ago’s 123,936. The daily selling rate over the month’s 26 selling days was 5,212, 5.1% above September 2005’s 4,957 (25 days).

Related document: Canada Light Vehicle Sales by Brand

The increase follows a 3.7% gain in August and marks the sixth month this year in which sales increased over like-2005. Year-to-date sales, after falling behind year-ago at the end of July, are now 1.4% ahead of like-2005 at 1.245 million vs. 1.228 million.

Honda posted a huge 40.3% increase over year-ago and recorded a company record 12.5% market share. It is the second time since August 2005 Honda has topped Ford. Year-to-date, Honda ranks as the No. 5 seller in Canada.

Toyota recorded a 7.8% increase, its 21st consecutive gain and managed to hold off Honda’s surge to finish with the third-best sales in the month. It ranks fourth in 2006 sales through September.

Ford’s sales declined 2.9% in the month for an 11.9% market share that was its lowest in decades. However, its year-to-date sales are 6.6% ahead of last year’s pace, and it remains the No.3 seller in 2006 behind General Motors of Canada Ltd. and DaimlerChrysler AG.

GM’s sales were up 4.1% in September, and DC’s were down 3.2%.

Besides Honda, another big winner was Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc., with a 31.7% increase. Also reporting gains were BMW Canada Inc. (16.5%), Mazda Canada Inc. (7.0%), Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. (3.4%) and Hyundai Auto Canada (1.9%).

The remaining five companies posted losses, ranging from Suzuki Canada Inc.’s 1.8% shortfall to an 11.3% downturn for Subaru Canada Inc.