Sales of new motor vehicles in Canada rose 6.3% in March to 122,194 units, according to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada. It was the largest monthly growth since January 2008. This increase was mainly due to higher sales of trucks.

Sales of new trucks (which include minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses) were up 11.0% to 60,577 units in March. This rise more than offset the decline in truck sales in February.

Sales of passenger cars rose 2.0% to 61,617 units. Sales have been increasing slowly for three months following strong declines at the end of 2008.

The number of new motor vehicles sold in March rose in all provinces. The main contributor to the increase at the national level was Quebec, whose 10.4% rise in sales accounted for around 45% of the national increase. The increases in the province for February and March more than offset the 14% decline in sales between October 2008 and January 2009.

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