Despite a shorter than average selling period, Canadians bought a record number of light vehicles in June, besting the prior record set a year ago.

LV deliveries averaged 7,293 each of 24 selling days on volume of 175,040 units, a 10.8% increase from a 26-day-pace of 6,579 vehicles a year earlier, when a then-record 171,160 cars and light trucks were sold.

The June performance was mostly the result of buyers’ hyper interest in light trucks, sales of which rose to a record 98,356 units, an increase of 9.5% from the year-earlier June record of 97,297.

Although cars left dealers’ lots at a faster pace last month compared with a year ago, 3,195 vs. 2,840, the 12.5% increase still saw volume of 76,684 units fall well shy of the month’s all-time record of 118,683 posted in June 1985.

After several months in second place early this year, Ford returned to the top spot for a second consecutive month, widening its lead over No.2 Chrysler to 13.8% in June from 3.0% the prior-month. In June a year ago, Ford had an 8.4% advantage.

Although Chrysler retained the lead for the year, the gap vis-à-vis Ford narrowed to 4,215 units. In like 2013, Chrysler held a 5,988-unit advantage.

Ford credited a 54% increase in hybrid-vehicles sales vs. year-ago for helping boost it June performance, also aided by increases of 39% for Escape, 13% for Explorer and a gain 35% for Transit Connect.

At General Motors, only Cadillac outperformed year-ago with a 29.4% June increase in the face of an overall 7.9% decline from year-ago

European brands posted a strong 17.6% year-over-year increase, to 17,770 units from 16,731 in June 2013, while Asian-make sales climbed 13.0%.

Industry LV sales in the first six months rose 2.8% to 906,334 units from 881,587.

abinder@wardsauto.com