For the first time ever, total new vehicle sales in Australia exceeded 1m by the end of November, according to official VFACTS data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Overall, 1,016,605 vehicles (cars, SUVs, light commercials and trucks) have been sold since the beginning of 2012, a 10.9% increase (90,627) year on year. November sales increased in every state compared November 2011 and also on a year to date basis. 

If December repeats previous years’ trends, with around 80,000 units sold for the month, total sales for 2012 may reach 1.1m, FCAI said. 

On a month to month basis, 98,347 vehicles were sold in November 2012, an increase of 10.9% (9,693) compared to November 2011. 

Resurgence in passenger vehicle sales, as well as continued growth in SUVs and light commercial sales, contributed to the strong November result. 

Passenger vehicle sales increased 10.6% (4,940) year on year, driven particularly by the medium passenger vehicle segment. Government purchases of passenger cars dropped 35.1% year on year and have decreased 20.7% since the beginning of 2012. 

Growth for SUVs continued to be driven by private and fleet customers both showing a trend toward diesel. Fleet buyers are also showing a growing interest in hybrid SUVs. There was 53.2% growth in private purchases and 28.2% in fleet purchases of diesel SUVs compared with the first 11 months in 2011. 

SUV market share compared with passenger cars was virtually unchanged from October with SUVs taking 27.6% of new vehicle sales year to date compared with passenger vehicles' 51.8%. 

Sales of locally manufactured vehicles picked up compared to November last year with an increase of 11.2% but total sales of 127,821 YTD were down 1.7% from a year ago. 

The Toyota Corolla was top seller in November with 4,190 units. The Mazda3 maintained second place (3,703) followed by the Toyota HiLux (3,059), Holden Commodore (2,659) and Toyota Camry (2,349). 

Toyota was the best performing brand overall in November selling 19,312 vehicles, followed by Holden (10,354) and Mazda (8,732).