Canadians continued to kick the tires in July, continuing an upswing in car sales that began in April of this year.

Ford sales were up 15 per cent and Chrysler sales rose seven per cent, while General Motors, which has been lagging in the Canadian market, saw sales soar 25 per cent.

Ford sold 28,923 cars and light trucks in Canada in July compared with 25,188 a year ago. The strength was in trucks, with sales up 26.2 per cent to 18,392 last month compared with 25,188 in July 2013.

Ford's cars didn't fare as well, with sales slumping by 15.9 per cent, down 5,178 from 6,796 in July 2013.

Truck sales helped General Motors Canada post a 24.2 per cent gain in sales for the month for a total of 19,566, up from 15,756 a year ago. That was a surprising result for the automaker, which has announced numerous recalls since the beginning of the year and suffered in Canada from the impact of closing numerous dealerships.

GM truck sales were up 28.6 per cent at 13,666 for July, up from 10,625 in the same month last year. Car sales were up 15 per cent at 5,900 compared with 5,131 a year ago.

GM said its U.S. sales, which also rebounded, were driven in part by people who had cars recalled considering a new GM model.

Chrysler Canada says it sold 28,007 cars and light trucks in July compared to 26,209 in the same month in 2013.

That was the highest monthly sales in company history, with Ram setting a truck sales record of 8,095 sold. Jeep Wrangler also had strong sales of 2,797 units in Canada.

The Windsor-built Dodge Grand Caravan sold 5,809 units, up 11 per cent from 5,286 in July of 2013. Chrysler minivans comprise 70 per cent of the minivan market in Canada.

BMO predicted last month that North American auto sales would be the highest since 2007 as people finally are optimistic enough to trade in their old models for new cars.

Last month's sales were also strong for Japanese automaker Nissan which reported its truck sales grew by 51.9 per cent, totalling 4,897 sold versus 3,223 in July 2013.

Overall, Nissan and its Infiniti luxury division sold 11,434 vehicles, up from 8,176 vehicles in July 2013.

Toyota, Lexus and Scion combined sold 18,039 vehicles, up from 17,734 a year ago. Toyota truck sales were up 6.8 per cent from last year but car sales slipped 2.7 per cent. 

With files from Canadian Press