Consumers’ seemingly insatiable appetite for light trucks and an extra selling day powered Canadian new light-vehicle sales into record territory in July, besting the month’s year-old benchmark by 7.0%.

Dealers delivered 176,650 LVs in July, an average of 6,794 on each of 26 selling days, up from the 158,757 units sold in the same month last year at a rate of 6,350 daily.

Although July’s pace reflected a 6.9% decline compared with June’s 7,301-a-day rate on volume of 175,219 vehicles, it made the prospect of LV sales reaching an all-time high for the year all the more real, possibly besting 2013’s 1.7 million-plus units by as much as 3%-5%.

As has been the case for some time, record sales of 102,765 light trucks pushed July to its record standing, up from the year-earlier July peak of 89,187 units. It was only the third time in history that more than 100,000 light trucks were sold in a single month, trailing only May’s any-month record of 111,778 trucks  and April’s 101,951-unit tally.

While truck sales boomed, cars continued to languish in dealer inventory, with July sales of 73,885 units ranked just 13th over the last 30 years. Although the total topped the 69,506 cars sold in July last year by 2.1%, it trailed by 25.8% the record 99,680 units delivered in like-1986.   

Ford remained in the top spot in July with 28,569 LV deliveries, a 10% gain from prior-year’s 24,890 and a step ahead of second-place Fiat-Chrysler’s 27,894 units.

But Chrysler hung on to its year-to-date lead with 173,398 units, compared with Ford’s 169,838 vehicles.

General Motors ranked third with January-July sales totaling 142,621 units, while Toyota, including Lexus, was fourth at 118,674 cars and light trucks.

abinder@wardsauto.com