Canada big-truck sales start the year on the upswing, with January deliveries soaring 64.1% over like-2011, according to WardsAuto data.

Sales of Class 4-8 trucks finished 2011 up 33%, compared with 2010. December deliveries tracked 25.3% ahead of prior-year.

January sales totaled 2,938 units, compared with 1,790 in the year-ago period. Class 8 sales led all segments, surging 83.6% to 2,077 units from 1,131 in like-2011.

Every manufacturer in Class 8 posted major gains, with PACCAR out in front on a percentage basis with a sales increase of 109.7% to 667 units from 318 year-ago. Daimler saw sales rise 97.8% to 793 units from 401, and International witnessed a 36.8% gain to 320 from 234. Volvo Truck deliveries rose 66.9% to 297 from 178.

Class 7 sales improved 52.6% to 293 units from like-2011’s 192. Daimler saw the biggest jump, with sales rising 161.4% to 115 units from 44. The German truck maker’s Freightliner division accounted for every delivery in the month, leaving the Mitsubishi Fuso brand in the cold.

Class 6 sales were the only soft spot. Deliveries there dipped 0.7% on sales of 135 units, or just one truck shy of January 2011’s performance. Daimler’s Freightliner brand gave the class legs, accounting for 54 deliveries, or five times what it sold in like-2011.

Class 5 sales rose 30.6% to 354 units from 271. Chrysler led the group with a sales swing of 58.2% to 106 from 67, while Ford sales improved 21.4% to 102 from 84.

Class 4 sales increased 31.7% to 79 units from 60 year-ago.

Total medium-duty sales were up 30.7% in January to 861 from 659 in like-2011.

jamend@wardsauto.com