There was a 15.4 percent monthly surge in the number of new vehicles sold in Canada in January to 153,623 units, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. "Passenger car sales rose 23.9 percent to 71,539 units, mainly reflecting higher sales of lower-cost vehicles," the agency said. Within the car sector, sales of North American-built vehicles shot up 28.5 percent, while sales of foreign-built cars rose 16.8 percent, StatsCan said. Sales of minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses rose 8.8 percent in January, offsetting declines in November and December. "Preliminary industry data indicate that the number of new motor vehicles sold in February fell 7 percent," the report said.