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Canada deliveries hit July record; Detroit 3 gain with trucks

UPDATED: 8/1/14 5:44 pm ET - adds nationwide results

TORONTO (Reuters) -- Auto sales in Canada in July rose to a record high for the month, up 11.3 percent from a year earlier, an industry analyst said today, with strong truck sales pushing both Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Co. to record performances.

Overall, automakers sold 176,995 vehicles in July, Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, said in a report. Meanwhile, Scotiabank analyst Carlos Gomes wrote in a note that sales are set to hit a record of 1.77 million vehicles this year.

Gomes said volumes are being lifted by "the best vehicle affordability in decades, low interest rates and improving consumer confidence, especially in Western Canada, where the labor market is healthiest."

Strong truck sales pushed Chrysler, Ford and General Motors Co. to robust July numbers in Canada, the automakers said today.

Chrysler Canada sold 28,007 cars and trucks last month, up from 26,209 a year earlier, with its Ram and Jeep brands setting July records, the company said.

A jump in truck sales, up 11.8 percent, offset a 19.6 percent drop in car sales in July, Chrysler Canada said.

The company said it was having its strongest year-to-date showing ever, with overall sales up 6 percent so far in 2014.

Ford's Canadian unit said its new-vehicle sales also hit July records, up 15 percent from a year earlier. Its line of trucks -- led by the popular F-series -- notched a 26.2 percent gain, while its car sales slipped 15.9 percent.

Overall, it sold 28,923 vehicles in July, up from 25,188 a year earlier.

GM said sales surged 25 percent to 23,973 vehicles last month -- with solid gains at all four of its brands. Buick led the way with a retail gain of 45 percent, led by Regal and Verano sales. Chevy retail sales grew 19 percent, GMC gained 29 percent, and Cadillac rose 29 percent. 

Automotive News contributed to this report.

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