July light-vehicle sales in Canada declined for the fifth straight month from the same year-ago period.

Only four companies posted gains in July, while the worst year-over-year results came from European auto makers.

Sales totaled 145,887 for a daily selling rate of 5,403 – 27 selling days – or 2.4% below year-ago’s 5,534 over 25 selling days. (See related data: Ward's Canada Light Vehicle Sales by Brand

Nissan Canada Inc. led all gainers with an 11.9% increase over July 2002, followed by Kia Canada Inc.’s 9.2% uptick. General Motors of Canada Ltd. sales were up 4.4% and Toyota Canada Inc. enjoyed a 4.1% rise.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Volkswagen of America Inc. posted a 25.3% decline, one of its largest ever. Porsche Canada Cars Ltd., coming off five straight gains that includes an average rise of 42% over the last four months, saw sales plummet 25.0%. BMW Canada Inc. sales fell 22.0%.

Only two segments recorded gains. Cross/utility vehicles surged 46.5%, the highest since a 57.2% increase in September 2002. And pickup truck sales increased by 17.6%, their first gain since December.

Largely due to the declines at BMW and Porsche, and also a 21.4% downturn by DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc.’s Mercedes-Benz, deliveries of all luxury cars declined 30.2%. Market share of the luxury car segment dropped to 4.0%, lowest since the same level in December 2000.