Sales of new light vehicles in Canada reached a fourth consecutive annual record in 2016, ending the year at 1,947,538 units.

That was up 2.8% from the 1,892,845 cars and light trucks sold in 2015 and 206,641, or 12%, more than the 1,740,887 units delivered in 2013, when the string of records began.

Boosting sales to new heights were robust light-truck sales that also set a record for the fourth year in a row at 1,288,003, besting by 9.0% the 1,182,150 units sold the prior year.

Car sales on the other hand continued on a downward path with sales of 659,525, or 12.7% less than the 755,666 cars sold four years earlier. Compared with year-ago they were down 7.3%

The industry benchmark was achieved despite a December sales slump that saw dealers retail just 125,230 LVs, some 24.8% less than November’s record 160,370 units and 2.3% below like-2015’s 128,186 deliveries.

The December slump came despite the fact there were 26 selling days in 2016 vs. just 24 in 2015, meaning consumers drove home 4,816 new LVs daily in December compared with 5,341 a year earlier.

Although light-truck sales rose to a December record of 87,938 from 87,383 a year earlier, it was not enough to offset a decline in car deliveries to 37,292 from 40,803.

With 300,794 units, Ford reclaimed the top spot in LV sales in 2016, up 9.5% from 274,748 in 2015 when it ran second to archrival Fiat Chrysler that slid to second-best on a 4.3% sales decline to 277,645 from 290,021.

General Motors, having eked out a 1.9% gain, remained in the No.3 spot, while Toyota/Lexus remained in fourth position despite its 4.2% sales increase.  

abinder@wardsauto.com