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July Record for Motor Industry

Australia’s motor industry posted its fourth month of record sales for 2017 with July as its third successive month of record gains, according to results released today from the motor industry’s official statistical service, VFACTS.

The July result of 92,754 sales keeps the industry on track for another record year with the overall market now at 692,306 sales year-to-date, a rise of 0.4 per cent over the 2016 record year.

The previous best July result was in 2015, when 92,308 sales were recorded.

Sales of SUVs remained strong last month, up 5.6 per cent year-to-date, and light commercials showed a similar healthy gain of 4.8 per cent year-to-date.

Comparing last month’s result with July 2016, an increase of 1.6 per cent was recorded for the motor industry overall. Significant gains were noted in small and medium SUVs, up 15.3 per cent and 18.6 per cent respectively, with other growth areas including people movers (up 12.7 per cent compared with July 2016), small passenger cars (up 1.1 per cent) and 4X4 light commercials (up 2.2 per cent).

The Northern Territory produced the strongest sales growth across the states and territories, posting a 10 per cent gain on its result for July 2016. South Australia had the second-largest growth rate at 8.7 per cent, followed by Victoria (+4.2 per cent), New South Wales (+1.3 per cent) and Queensland (+0.5 per cent).

Business sector sales were strong for SUVs with a July 2017 gain of 15.2 per cent compared with July 2016. Sales to rental fleets overall were also up nationally by 16.5 per cent.

Japan remained our strongest source of vehicle imports for July with 27,524 vehicles, followed by Thailand (21,915), South Korea (13,656), Germany (6,542), USA (4,026), and England (3,163).

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said the record July outcome was notable in that it came directly after the industry’s best-ever monthly result in June.

“This July figure demonstrates the industry’s ability to deliver products which are not only good value but cater specifically for the changing needs of Australian customers,” Mr Weber said.

“The steady rise in small and medium SUV sales are indicative of our market’s changing dynamic and manufacturers are moving quickly to meet those new needs and expectations.”

Toyota had five vehicles in the nation’s top 10 best-sellers to post a market-leading July share of 19.3 per cent. In second place was Mazda with 10.3 per cent, followed by Hyundai (8.1 per cent), Holden (7.0), and Ford (6.8).

The Toyota Hilux was the nation’s top-selling vehicle in July with 3,742 sales (up 19.3 per cent on its July 2016 outcome), followed by the Toyota Corolla with 3,208 sales, the Ford Ranger (3,076 sales), Mazda3 (2,466) and the Toyota Camry (2,385).

Key Points:

  • The July 2017 market of 92,754 new vehicle sales is an increase of 1,423 vehicle sales or 1.6% on July 2016 (91,331) vehicle sales. July 2017 (26.0) had the same number of selling days as July 2016, which resulted in an increase of 54.7 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 2,241 vehicle sales (-5.9%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 3,162 vehicle sales (9.4%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 127 vehicle sales (0.8%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 375 vehicle sales (14.5%) versus July 2016.
  • Toyota was market leader in July, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 8,403 vehicle sales and 9.0 market share points.