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Strong Niche Market Developing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

New vehicle sales data released today show significant growth in the uptake of hybrid vehicles, albeit off a low base, and another strong month in overall vehicle sales. 

Of the alternative fuel vehicles, passenger vehicles proved to be the most popular in September, growing by 191.4 per cent (3,371 units) compared with the same month in 2011 (1,697). Overall 9,461 hybrids have been sold since the beginning of 2012 compared with 6,143 for the same period in 2011. 

Total vehicle sales for September maintained the growth observed since the beginning of this year. Overall, 822,674 vehicles (cars, SUVs, light commercials and trucks) have been sold since the beginning of 2012. This is a 9.4 per cent increase (70,546 vehicles) on sales for the first nine months of 2011. 

The sales growth in September took place in the SUV (20.7 per cent), light commercial (10.7 per cent) and heavy commercial segments (12.4 per cent). Sales of passenger vehicle grew slightly (3.2 per cent) but this is still the largest vehicle segment with 52 per cent of sales overall. 

Vehicle sales increased in every state and territory compared with the previous September, except South Australian sales which were down slightly (0.5 per cent) compared to last September. The ACT, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia all saw double digit growth in September vehicle sales compared to 2011. 

On a month to month basis, 94,627 vehicles were sold in September 2012, an increase of 9.0 per cent (or 7,808 vehicles) on 2011. 

Government purchases continued to fall: declining by 17.4 per compared to the same month last year, and by 10.6 per cent for the same nine month period in 2011. Sales of passenger vehicles to governments declined 31.2 per cent compared to September 2011. 

Sales of locally manufactured vehicles weakened with 102,331 sold for the year to date, down 2.8 per cent from just over 105,000 this time last year. 

Mazda3 regained the lead in September with 4,276 sales, relegating Toyota HiLux to second position with (3,479). A new entrant to the top five, Hyundai I30 (3,144), took third spot, with Toyota Corolla (3,133) fourth and Holden Commodore (2,532) fifth. 

Toyota remained the best performing brand overall in September selling 17,300 vehicles, followed by Mazda with 10,093 and then Holden with 8,955. 

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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