OTTAWA — Sales of new motor vehicles rose 5.3 per cent in July to 126,665 units, driven by especially strong sales in Ontario, Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday.
Sales of both passenger cars and trucks were up, although July sales were still 8.5 per cent lower than they were a year earlier.
After a sharp decline at the end of 2008, sales of new autos have generally been rising since the beginning of this year.
Preliminary industry data indicate that the number of new motor vehicles sold was relatively unchanged in August.
Sales of North American-built passenger cars were particularly strong in July, rising by 15.3 per cent, while sales of overseas cars slipped 4.4 per cent.
Sales of new trucks, including minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses, increased by 4.3 per cent to 63,640 units in July.
Sales rose in all provinces in July, but more than two-thirds of the national increase came from Ontario, where sales rose 10 per cent following a slight decrease in June.
Sales in New Brunswick rose 6.3 per cent in July, offsetting a sharp drop in June.
British Columbia recorded the lowest growth, with sales up only 1.5 per cent.
Sales rose 2.2 per cent in Alberta, but were still 20.2 per cent lower than in July 2008.
That’s the biggest year-to-year sales drop of any province.