Despite two fewer selling days this year, Canadian light-vehicle deliveries again topped year-ago in July, following a June respite that saw demand slip for the first time in 2012.

The July performance was led by a rebounding light-truck sector and surge in import-vehicle deliveries.

Ford retained market leadership with its best July performance in 33 years, while Chrysler sales reached a 12-year high.

At an average daily selling rate of 6,148, dealers delivered 147,569 new LVs last month, up 13.3% from the 5,428-a-day pace year-ago.

July light-truck sales, at 85,106 units, outpaced the market with a 19.9% gain compared with year-ago and a 5.2% increase from June. Car deliveries rose 8.7% from like-2011 but fell 10% below June’s daily rate.

Sales of Asian-brand LVs rose 18.6% in July. Most Japanese-make models posted strong results compared with their inventory-depleted showing in 2011. Nissan, down 23.4%, was an exception as its dealers awaited the arrival of the redesigned high-volume Altima.

South Korea’s Hyundai posted a record in the month.

The 1,010,618 new LVs sold so far this year bests prior-year’s 947,089 units by 6.7% and, according to some analysts, puts the market on course to challenge, but probably not beat, 2002’s record 1,699,884 deliveries.