Chrysler Canada reports highest sales since 2000 GM falls

TORONTO — Chrysler Canada says August sales are up 9% from a year ago — their highest mark for the month since 2000.The automaker said Tuesday that it sold 20,569 vehicles last month, up from 18,816 in August 2011.The increase was largely driven by car sales, which climbed 84% from a year ago. Total truck sales increased 1.7%.“With the (new) . . . Dodge Dart just starting to arrive across Canada, we’re positioned for even further growth,” said Dave Buckingham, Chrysler Canada’s chief operating officer.The strong August sales came as Chrysler Canada and the other major U.S. automakers continue contract talks with the Canadian Auto Workers union.[np-related /]Chrysler workers have voted 99% in favour of strike action if necessary.Total sales at General Motors of Canada were down 15.9% compared to last August as the automaker posted gains in the compact and crossover markets.Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac dealers reported 21,070 deliveries last month, the company said.Meanwhile, Volkswagen Canada reported August sales up 34% from a year ago. The German automaker said it sold 5,782 vehicles for the month, up from 4,302 a year ago.Kia Canada sold 7,682 new vehicles, up 32% growth compared with August 2011, led by its subcompact Rio.“The Rio subcompact, Sorento SUV and Forte compact continue to be vehicle lines of strength for Kia Canada’s product portfolio and represent three very competitive segments,” said Robert Staffieri, Kia Canada’s director of marketing.“These three vehicles, along with the rest of our model lineup, continue to attract repeat and conquest customers as we have experienced a 20.7% year-to-date increase, outpacing the industry average.”Nissan Canada Inc. bucked the trend and reported a drop in August sales as buyers slowed the purchase of the Japanese automaker’s trucks.The company reported combined sales at its Nissan and Infiniti division totalled 6,329 vehicles, down 14.7% from 7,421 as Nissan truck sales fell 44% compared with a year ago.The Canadian Press read more

UN chief spotlights role of interfaith dialogue to empower women

“People place extraordinary trust in their faith leaders, who have a far-reaching ability to help achieve lasting peace and promote the status of women,” Mr. Ban said in his message to a symposium held in New York.“As long as entrenched hatreds and gender bias remain, conflicts will simmer and women will suffer. Only when we achieve a fundamental change in mindsets can we realize true progress,” he added in the message, which was delivered by the Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Lakshmi Puri. Mr. Ban stressed that women are often central to the life of faith-based organizations and possess enormous potential to promote peacebuilding and conflict resolution. However, men dominate faith-based organizations, which underscores the need to ensure women’s presence in positions of authority within these organizations.“This will enable women to discuss and determine their religious and cultural values and to promote practices that respect human dignity,” he said.Mr. Ban underlined that the UN is working with inter-faith groups to advance democracy, human rights and sustainable development through programmes on the ground, partnerships and initiatives such as the Alliance of Civilizations.“Peace, dignity and respect for others are core values common to all of the world’s great religions,” he said. “We welcome all people of faith in this affirmation of our common humanity.”The symposium was organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Peace Islands Institute to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week. read more