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Government New Vehicle Purchases Continue to Decline

New vehicle sales data released today show that government purchases continue to weaken with reductions in comparative monthly and year-to-date sales across all vehicle categories. 

Overall, governments bought 22.5 per cent less vehicles in August this year than they did in August last year. Similarly, governments have bought 9.7 per cent (around 3,800) less vehicles during the eight months of 2012 than they had for the same eight month period in 2011. 

Meanwhile, private and business purchases of SUVs and light commercial vehicles have delivered an otherwise healthy outcome for vehicle sales in August. 

Sales of SUVs in all categories have grown 18.6 per cent (4,105) over the same month last year and 30.0 per cent overall (by 46,907 to 203,316 units) compared with the same period in 2011. The strongest growth is in the small SUV segment which has improved 61.5 per cent with 15,637 more units on a year to date basis. 

Sales of light commercial vehicles increased 19.1 per cent (2,896) last month, compared with August in 2011, driven by a 38.2 per cent (3,160) increase in the 4x4 Pickup/Cab Chassis segment, and less so by a 30.9 per cent (82) increase in sales of vehicles in the less than 2.5t segment. 

Passenger vehicle sales were down 3.7 per cent (1,811) in August compared with the same month last year, but the category still continues to be the highest selling, with 376,084 passenger cars sold so far in 2012. 

Overall, 728,047 vehicles (cars, SUVs, light commercials and trucks) have been sold since the beginning of 2012. This is a 9.4 per cent increase (62,738 vehicles) on sales for the first eight months of 2011. August sales increased in every state and territory compared with the previous August, except Tasmanian sales which were down 13.7 per cent compared to last August, and 7.3 per cent down on a year to date basis. 

On a month to month basis, 93,552 vehicles were sold in August 2012, an increase of 6.2 per cent (or 5,470 vehicles) compared to August 2011. 

Sales of locally manufactured vehicles have weakened slightly, with 91,360 sold for the year to date, up 1.0 per cent from just over 90,000 this time last year. 

For the fifth month in a row, the Toyota HiLux is the top selling model with 4,010 sales, followed by the Mazda3 (2,990), the Toyota Corolla (2,945), the Holden Cruze (2,628) and the Holden Commodore (2,435). 

Toyota was the best performing brand overall in August selling 17,996 vehicles, followed by Holden with 11,271 and then Ford with 7,795. 

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VFACTS monthly auto sales data is available at 12 noon on the 3rd working day after the end of every month at 

For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555