Thanks to record light-truck sales, Canadian new light-vehicle deliveries in 2012 came within 1.6% of tying the country’s 10-year-old all-time record, leading some analysts to speculate a new all-time high is on tap in 2013.

Sales of 1,672,241 LVs last year rose 5.7% from prior-year’s 1,581,241, falling just 27,643 units short of the record 1,699,884 delivered in 2002.

Helping push the industry to its second-best ever level was a record 923,711 light-truck sales, up 26.3% from the 900,031 in 2011 and 20.6% more than the 765,827 delivered 10-years earlier.

Car sales rose 9.8% from year-ago to 748,930 units. However, they still fell shy of the 934,057 deliveries in 2002 and were well below the record 1,133,103 posted in 1985.

Even though Ford’s LV sales were in a dead heat with year-ago, 272,467 to 272,262, it retained industry leadership for the third consecutive year. The F-150 not only remained Canada best-selling vehicle for the third year in a row with 106,358 deliveries, it also marked an all-time sales record for any single light-truck model.

Chrysler’s Canada sales rose 5.5% to 242,224 units in like-2012, passing General Motors, down 6.6% to 15,199, for the No.2 spot, and just 34,767 ahead of fourth-place Toyota.

Canada’s 2012’s strong annual performance ended on a less than stellar note, however, as December sales of 108,729 units fell 9.9% from November.

While December’s volume was 5,6120 units short of 2011, it still outpaced year-ago 2.7% based on the daily selling rate. There were 25 selling days in 2012 compared with 27 the prior year.

abinder@wardsauto.com