Strong demand for trucks drove auto sales higher in June, even as sales of passenger cars hit the brakes compared with a year ago, according to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants on Wednesday.

Sales of light vehicles totalled 171,608 last month, up 1.3 per cent compared with the 169,459 vehicles sold in June 2012.    While light truck sales climbed 6.7 per cent to 96,587, passenger car sales fell by 4.9 per cent to 75,021.

The automotive consulting firm called it the "best June yet seen in Canada."

"The Canadian vehicle market inched upwards from last year's chart-topping June sales to set another monthly record in June 2013," DesRosiers said in a statement.

However, DesRosiers also noted the sales results were "inconsistent" as Ford Motor Co. of Canada came in as the top seller in June, but the automaker saw its sales decline by six per cent compared to a year ago.

Ford #1 in Canada

Ford said it sold 28,713 vehicles last month, down from the 30,543 it sold in June 2012. Sales of trucks climbed 1.1 per cent to 21,284, while passenger car sales were down by 21.7 per cent to 7,429. Ford said year-to-date sales were up by 3.2 per cent to 146,700 total vehicles.

Chrysler sold 26,222 vehicles last month, helped by strong demand for its passenger cars and Jeeps. That's 11 per cent higher than the 23,705 vehicles it sold in June 2012.

Chrysler said it sold 5,458 passenger cars last month, up 46 per cent from 3,734 a year ago.

Meanwhile, sales of trucks, which typically have higher profit margins for automakers, edged up more modestly. Chrysler sold 20,764 trucks in June, up four per cent from 19,971 trucks it sold in June of last year.

Year-to-date sales were up 6.9 per cent to 139,234 vehicles, compared with 130,286 vehicles sold by this time last year.

"2013 marks the best half-way point in the year for Chrysler Canada since 2000," said chief operating officer Dave Buckingham.

"With the record growth we are experiencing on the car side of our business, we've really rounded out our portfolio and established ourselves nicely in all vehicle segments."

General Motors sales improve

GM Canada's sales for June totalled 24,707 vehicles, including fleet sales, an eight per cent increase from the 22,869 it sold a year ago. GM's retail sales totalled 20,723 last month.

GM has sold 121,398 vehicles year to date, up 3.6 per cent compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, Kia Canada Inc. said it sold 7,775 vehicles last month, down from 7,782 in June 2012.

Toyota Canada Inc. also reported a decline in sales compared to a year ago. The auto maker said it sold 18,338 vehicles in June, down four per cent from June 2012. But the company said truck sales increased by 12.6 per cent to 8,716 in June.

Honda Canada Inc. saw its June sales climb 10 per cent to 14,971 vehicles, while Nissan's sales slid 10 per cent lower to 8,889 vehicles.