The prospects of the Australian automotive industry topping one million sales this year have been boosted by a strong vehicle sales performance in November.
According to VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries 88,654 cars, trucks and buses were sold last month – an improvement of 1.5 per cent over November last year.
This was the second-highest November month on record, surpassed only by the 92,801 sales result in 2007.
Total sales for the year to date are running 2.4 per cent or 23,009 vehicles behind the same period last year.
FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers says that while the total for 2011 will finish down on 2010, it is still likely to be a very good overall result for the automotive industry.
“For the past four months in a row sales have been trending above the same period for 2010. This suggests improving consumer confidence in Australia’s economic prospects,” Mr Chalmers said.
“Many car brands have been proactive in appealing to car buyers by offering lower prices, improved equipment and low finance rates. Consumers are responding positively to the value that is widely on offer.”
Mr Chalmers said the November sales result might have been even better if not for supply constraints which affected some brands.
“The flood in Thailand which continues to affect some car factories located there and the lingering after-effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami have played a part in limiting supplies of some popular models.”
The best-selling brand in November was Toyota with 17,436 followed by Holden with 9,761 and Ford with 8,103.
Toyota Corolla was Australia’s best-selling car in November, attracting 3,731 customers, followed by Mazda3 (3,480) and Toyota HiLux (3,332).
Market growth in November was also driven by the continued rise in the popularity of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
SUV Compact sales were up 12.6 per cent and SUV Medium sales were 16.8 per cent higher than the same month last year.
SUV Large volumes were up 5.4 per cent and SUV Luxury sales boomed by 36.1 per cent.
Other segments which enjoyed growth in November were Small (+1.4 per cent) and Medium (+2.3) passenger cars, Sports cars (+1.9), 4x4 utilities (+6.7) and Light Buses (+41.3).
“Assuming the current trends carry through December we are confident that total annual sales will exceed one million for only the fourth time in Australia’s history,” Mr Chalmers said.
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