General Motors of Canada says it just had its best May in five years but industry figures show its sales trailed Ford and Chrysler.

Ford Motor of Canada took top spot with 31,747 cars and light trucks sold, despite a decline of 2.3 per cent from a year ago.

Chrysler Canada was second, with sales rising by eight per cent compared with a year ago to 31,498.

GM Canada sales totalled 26,444, up 11.8 per cent from a year ago.

The monthly Desrosiers automotive report shows that overall Canadian of sales of cars and light trucks were up 5.7 per cent from May of last year, rising to 195,571 from 185,040.

Trucks accounted for 111,035 of the vehicles sold in Canada last month, up 12.1 per cent last year. Car sales totalled 84,536, down 1.7 per cent from 86,012 a year ago.

Toyota Canada's overall sales rose one per cent to 22,465 from 22,250, although Toyota-branded sales were essentially unchanged while its Lexus luxury brand had a 14.2 per cent increase to 1,789 from 1,566.

U.S. auto sales hit seven-year high

In the U.S., brisk demand pushed auto sales to a seven-year high in the same month.

General Motors, in the throes of a recall crisis, surprised with a 13 per cent gain over last May. GM said May was its best month since August 2008.

Chrysler's U.S. sales jumped 17 per cent, boosted by strong demand for the new Jeep Cherokee small SUV. Chrysler said its Jeep brand sales jumped 58 per cent and set an all-time monthly sales record, with 70,203 vehicles sold in May.

Ford's sales rose three per cent, boosted by the Fusion sedan and Escape SUV, which both topped 30,000 sales. But Ford's truck sales dropped 4 per cent as the automaker cut back on incentives. Ford said it's trying to manage pickup truck inventories in preparation for plant shutdowns to change over to its new F-150 pickup, which is due out later this year.

with files from CBC News