Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/20/2012 -- If consumer lending maintains the downward trend followed for much of 2011, we also expect minimal growth in passenger car sales, although we do believe positive growth can be achieved from the low base in 2011.This is perhaps reflected in growth of manufacturers of smaller cars. Kia Motors continues to be one of the strongest brands in terms of sales, posting growth figures of 21.1% y-o-y in the first five months of 2012. The South Korean brand has also raised its market share to 4.5%. While Ford Motor continues to lead the market, with stable growth of 4.4% in the first five months of 2012, the biggest gain among the Detroit Three again came from Chrysler, which increased its sales by 8.7% year-on-year (y-oy), and expanded its market share from 14.5% at the end of 2011 to 15.2% in this period.
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In the commercial vehicle segment, a boost to growth may come in the form of replacement sales as the federal government has recently proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines for the 2014 model year and beyond. The vehicles under consideration include large trucks, buses and short/long-haul tractors, as well as garbage and cement trucks. The regulations will bring Canada's fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission levels in line with the US. The implementation of the proposal is expected to reduce emissions from 2018 heavy-duty vehicles by 23%, compared with 2010 levels. The government eventually aims to cut emissions by 17% in 2020, compared with 2005 levels.
The development of alternative fuel technology is also being supported by the government. In May 2012, it launched the ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles Program's next phase to analyse clean vehicle technologies, according to Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Denis Lebel. He said that the CAD38mn (US$37mn) programme is designed to evaluate the safety and environmental performance of advanced vehicle technologies. The programme will include heavy-duty trucks and a wider range of technologies.
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