Ford's Canadian sales drop in September, Chrysler's rise

* Ford Canada sales down 8 pct at 23,600 vehicles

* Chrysler Canada sales up 2 pct at 19,555 vehicles

TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's Canadian vehicle sales dropped 8 percent in September from a year earlier, while Chrysler Canada said its sales rose 2 percent, its best September since 2000.

As automakers started reporting their Canadian monthly sales on Tuesday, Ford said car sales fell 11.9 percent to 4,994 in September, and truck sales fell 6.9 percent to 18,606.

Despite the drop, Ford said it was still the country's top-selling automaker for the month and year-to-date with total September sales of 23,600, down from 25,656 in the same period last year. Year-to-date sales were down 0.1 percent at 219,182 vehicles.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat SpA , said September sales rose 2 percent to 19,555 vehicles, with year-to-date sales up 6 percent at 194,572.

"Fuel efficient vehicles like the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500 helped grow our passenger car sales by 36 percent in September," said Chrysler Canada Chief Operating Officer Dave Buckingham in a statement.

"In addition, record sales of the Chrysler 200 have propelled Chrysler to be the No. 1 seller of mid-size cars in Canada."

Canadian monthly sales figures for General Motors Co and other automakers are expected later on Tuesday.

In the United States, GM posted a 1.5 percent sales increase in September, while Ford sales were flat. Chrysler, the smallest of the Detroit Three automakers, reported a 12 percent jump in sales.

(Reporting By Susan Taylor; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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