Sales to Australians in May rose 3.6% year on year to 96,672 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles in May 2016. New car volume rose 3.8% year-to-date.

Citing 'official' VFACTS data, the FCAI said passenger cars remained the top selling category, with 39.5% market share, but down from 43.5% a year ago. SUV sales continued steady growth to 37.5%. Light commercial vehicles grew to 20% of sales.

"All SUV sales, but particularly those in the medium segment, are growing rapidly. Medium SUVs are up 19.6% on the May result last year. Passenger car sales have been steadily drifting and are down 5.8% on May last year," the FCAI said.

Toyota led the market for May with 17,201 sales (17.8%), followed by Mazda on 9,608 (9.9%), Hyundai 9,005 (9.3), Holden 7,405 (7.7), and Ford 6,584 (6.8).

The Hyundai i30 was again Australia's top-selling vehicle for May with 3,771 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 3,675.