OTTAWA (CP) -- New motor vehicle sales increased 2.6 percent to 128,663 in December, largely on the strength of higher sales of North American-built passenger cars.
Statistics Canada reports monthly sales averaged around 124,000 units in 2009, down from 2008's monthly average of about 140,000.
The agency says preliminary industry data indicate the January figures were relatively unchanged.
The number of new passenger cars sold in December increased 2.5 percent to 64,568, while sales of North American-built passenger cars rose 5.1 percent.
The number of overseas-built passenger cars sold fell one percent.
Sales of new trucks (which include minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses) increased 2.7 percent to 64,095 in December, partially offsetting November's decrease.
The number of new motor vehicles sold increased in nine provinces in December after declining in every province in November.
The largest contribution to the increase came from Quebec (up 2.7 percent).
The only decline in December was registered in the region composed of British Columbia and the territories (down 1.9 percent), where sales increased in nine of 12 months in 2009.