Following a near-record performance in 2012, Canadian new light-vehicle sales opened the new year with a 6.4% decline in the average daily selling rate on a January volume of 94,878 units over 25 selling days, down from prior-year’s 97,352 in 24 days.

However, it was a strong January for light trucks. Despite a 4.9% decline, volume of 56,368 units was second-best for the month, trailing only year-ago’s record 56,921 deliveries.

Car sales were off 8.6% for the month to 38,510 units from year-ago’s 40,431, although several auto makers saw increases. Those included Jaguar, up 33.8% on low volume; Ford, up 19.1%; General Motors, up 3.1%; and BMW up 0.3%.

Chrysler moved ahead of Ford into the top sales spot in January LV sales on volume of 16,928 units vs. 15,761, although Chrysler’s average daily rate trailed its strong year-ago performance by 1.4% compared with Ford’s 2.1% gain.

Asian auto makers posted a 13.2% decline in their January DSR on volume of 39,531 units compared with 43,744 in like-2012. European brands delivered 8,897 vehicles, down 8.6% in daily rate compared with prior-year’s 9,345.

abinder@wardsauto.com