Thanks to increases in all but the Class 7 sector, sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Canada last month rose 22.2% above year-ago levels.

Related document: Canada Truck Sales by Weight Class – March 2011

Big-truck deliveries in Canada have exceeded prior year in all months this year, with March’s gain slightly below February’s 24.6% increase.

Class 8’s 11.0% increase last month was due to demand hikes for nearly all brands. Freightliner’s 30.4% rise was the biggest, while Peterbilt posted the largest decrease, with sales down 12.3%.

Medium-duty truck sales spiked 46.9% above year-ago, Ward’s data shows.

Class 7, the lone declining group, fell 4.6%, with drops recorded by three mid-volume brands, including Hino, down 53%.

Peterbilt’s 55.9% increase was Class 7’s largest upswing.

Class 6’s 79.3% surge came as No.1-seller International notched a 165.6% gain. PACCAR posted the group’s biggest drop, 51.9%.

Class 5’s 81.9% spike, the largest of all medium- and heavy-duty groups in March, can be credited to Ford, up 296.6%, and Chrysler, up 150.7%.

Daimler’s 59.6% falloff was the group’s largest.

Ford largely was responsible for the 20.6% rise in Class 4 sales, gaining 92.6% on March 2010. That performance offset losses at Hino (83.0%) and Daimler (31.2%).

Through March, medium- and heavy-duty truck-volume in Canada were pacing 20.8% ahead of year-ago.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com