Light-truck buyers turned up at Canadian dealers in record numbers in April, enough to pump the month’s total light-vehicle sales to a new benchmark.

Dealers retailed 7,133 new LVs on each of April’s 25 selling days, for a total of 178,320 units.

That was an increase of 4.0% over prior-year’s 6,857-a-day pace on third-best volume of 171,417 LVs. And 8.2% above the prior record of 171,417 units sold in 2008, at a rate of 6,593 on each of 26 days.

Driving the uptick were a record 178,320 new light trucks that bested by 7.5% the month’s previous record of 94,855 units delivered in April last year.

Car sales, on the other hand, ranked no better than ninth out of the last 30 years, falling to 76,369 units, down 0.3% from 76,562 deliveries in 2013.

Compared with the record 120,924 cars sold over 26 days in April 1987, last month’s total was off 36.8%.

Fiat Chrysler, posting gains of 14.8% over the prior month and 5.2% over year-ago, remained the country’s leading LV retailer in April.

Chrysler bested second-place Ford, despite the latter’s 26.8% increase from March.  Ford sales were off 2.0% compared with April 2013, when it held the pole position in Canada.

Ford said Escape and Explorer posted April-record sales last month, while deliveries of Fusion and MKZ hybrids were the best for any month ever.

Altogether, the Detroit Three racked up a 20.8% LV sales gain over March and surpassed April of last year by 1.5%.

Asia-Pacific brands scored a 16.5% jump on March and beat the prior year by 6.5%, while European makes posted a month-over-month increase of 15.6% and 4.8% rise from year-ago.

abinder@wardsauto.com