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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian auto sales soared more than 7 percent to a record high for the month of July, industry data released on Thursday showed, with Chrysler FIA.MI outselling Ford Motor Co (F.N) and General Motors Co (GM.N) and Japan's three big automakers all with double digit gains.
A total of 158,993 new vehicles were sold last month, beating the record set in July 2005, according to DesRosiers Automotive Reports.
Chrysler's Canadian arm reported record sales for July, up 8.5 percent from a year earlier, as passenger car sales rose 19.9 percent to 4,114 vehicles, while truck sales climbed 6.6 percent to 22,095.
Chrysler sold a total of 26,209 vehicles, up from 24,162 in July 2012, and extended its streak of year-over-year gains to 44 consecutive months. The company's Canadian vehicle sales are up 7.1 percent so far this year to 165,443.
Ford, however, said Canadian vehicle sales fell nearly 10 percent in July, hit by a 13.7 percent decline in trucks to 18,392. Cars climbed 2.7 percent to 6,796.
Ford sold a total of 25,188 vehicles in July, down from 27,940 a year earlier. It still has sold the most vehicles in Canada this year, with year-to-date sales of 171,888, a 1.1 percent rise.
GM Canada sold 19,164 vehicles last month, a slight drop of 0.2 percent from 19,206 in July 2012. It sold 5,405 cars, a 7.7 percent drop. Trucks rose 3.1 percent to 13,759.
Total sales at GM are up 3.1 percent this year, with 140,562 cars sold so far.
Toyota Canada (7203.T) sold 17,734 vehicles, an increase of 12.1 percent from 2012, while Honda Canada (7267.T) reported a 35 percent jump in July, selling 15,141 vehicles. Nissan (7201.T) sold 8,176 vehicles, a 53.8 percent rise from a year earlier.
In the United States, Detroit's Big Three all reported disappointing U.S. sales for July, hurt by low inventory of some popular models.
Editing by Lisa Von Ahn; and Peter Galloway