Canada’s spring auto sales continued to gain momentum in April, with light vehicles climbing to 171,091 units, giving the industry its second best-ever performance in the month behind 174,997 in 2008.

Compared with prior-year’s 157,407 units, April’s sales volume rose 8.1%, but that was due to an additional three selling days this year. On a daily rate basis, last month’s performance was flat, with an average 6,844 deliveries each of 26 days compared with 6,843 over 23 days in 2012.

Measured against March’s more anemic 6,010-unit 26-day rate, April showed a 13.9% improvement.

Credit light-truck demand for April’s upsurge, with a DSR up 13.8% from March and 6.1% compared with like-2012. Cars rose 13.9% from prior-month but trailed year-ago 6.6%.

April was a banner month for the Detroit Three, which posted a combined 17.4% increase in LV deliveries from March and a 3.4% gain on like-2012.

Both Asian and European brands trailed year-ago by 1.5% and 8.2%, respectively. The inventory-short Europeans also fell 1.3% from March, while the Asians rose 14%.

Ford once again led all auto makers in April, up 5.1% compared with year-ago to 25,071 units.

Chrysler, with 25,675 deliveries, edged out General Motors, with 25,071, for second place. Hyundai-Kia, with 21,098, bested Toyota-Lexus, with 20,089, for the fourth spot.

To no one’s surprise, the Ford F-150 remained Canada’s best-selling light truck in April with 11,295 units, while the Honda Civic held onto the top spot as the best-selling car with 5,408.

LV deliveries in the year’s first four months rose 1.3% from like-2012 to 525,455 units, compared with. 518,625 year-ago, thanks to a 5.0% gain by the Detroit Three and 2.8% increase by European brands. Asian makes were down 2.5%.

abinder@wardsauto.com