Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks fell 7.3% last month in Canada, with Classes 4 and 5 the only groups bucking the downward trend, WardsAuto data shows.

Class 8 deliveries slipped 9.7% as volume players Volvo Truck, International and Freightliner fell below year-ago.

The Volvo Truck brand’s 40.0% drop was the largest in Class 8, while Volvo’s Mack Truck was the most improved, up 15.2%.

The Class 4 and 5 gains helped keep medium-duty volume relatively even, down just 1.9% from March 2012.

Class 7 took the biggest year-on-year plunge, off 21.1%, as prior-year’s sales leader International tumbled 58.2%.

PACCAR’s Kenworth and Ford also saw depressed results in Class 7. Daimler’s Freightliner was the biggest gainer in the group, up 56.8% by selling 25 more units than year-ago.

International also was to blame for the overall 14.2% slump in Class 6. The Illinois-based truck maker delivered a group-leading number of units, but tumbled 49.7% from year-ago. Nineteen more units sold by Freightliner gave it a segment-best year-on-year jump, 263.5%.

Class 5 deliveries rose 7.0% in Canada in March, with gains by Hino (66.2%) and Ford (43.6%) helping offset a 66.6% decline by Chrysler and a 38.5% drop at International.

The 28.4% jump in Class 4 deliveries was the best result in any Canada big-truck group last month. All manufacturers save for Mitsubishi Fuso, which fell 25.1%, were in the black. Hino posted the best result, up 205.1%, albeit on low volume. Ford’s 122 sales powered the group, as the Blue Oval brand’s Class 4 sales climbed 27.6% from year-ago.

Through March, sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Canada were down 15.3% year-on-year, to 8,865 units.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com