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Car sales Growth Fuelled by Suvs and Light Commercials

Australia’s new car sales continued their steady growth during September with total sales of 102,696 vehicles, fuelled by continuing strong demand for SUVs and light commercial vehicles.

Sales of SUVs during September were up by 6.8 per cent over the same month last year, and up 9.9 per cent year to date compared with 2015. Light commercial vehicle sales are driving ahead even more strongly, up by 17.9 per cent on September 2015, and 11.2 per cent year to date.

National vehicle sales rose by 1.3 per cent in September compared with the same month last year and year to date sales are now at 887,076, a comparative increase of 2.8 per cent over 2015 and keeping the industry on track for a strong 2016 sales result.

The Northern Territory enjoyed a 12.1 per cent spike in sales during September 2016 compared with September 15, and South Australia was not far behind with a gain of 11.8 per cent. Sales in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia declined in September 2016 compared with 2015 by 3.4 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively. The ACT and New South Wales showed only modest September growth of 1.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, while Victoria fared better with a 3.9 per cent gain.  New South Wales retains the strongest year to date sales growth with a 5.4 per cent gain over last year, followed by South Australia (5.3), and the ACT (4.2).

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said that the increased model diversity of SUVs was generating an abundance of choice for consumers.

“The trend in increased consumer preference for SUVs and light commercials was accompanied by a decline in sales of passenger vehicles by 8.7 per cent in September, compared with the same month last year,” Mr Weber said.

“What we are seeing in Australia with the increased market share held by SUV sales, with the segment share up 2.4 per cent year to date compared with 2015, is not unlike what is occurring in other mature markets.”

Sales of motor vehicles to private buyers declined by 8.2 per cent in September 2016 compared with September 2015, while business purchases were up by 14.3 per cent over the same period.  Government purchases remained fairly stable with a slight increase of 1.9 per cent.

Toyota remained the market leader in September with a 16.3 per cent share, followed by Mazda with 11.7, Hyundai (9.1), Holden (8.3) and Ford (7.1).

The top-selling vehicle for September 2016 was the Mazda3 with 3,491, followed by the Toyota Corolla (3,423 sales), Toyota Hilux (3,209 sales), Ford Ranger (2,903), and Hyundai i30 (2,741).