Australia's motor industry has achieved another record year of sales in 2017, according to official statistical service, VFACTS. The industry posted a record December result to reach a 12 month total of 1,189,116 units, an increase of 0.9% over 2016. This was the fourth record in five years.
The December total of 102,820 was also a record for that month, up 4.1% year on year
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said 2017 was the first full year in which sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) had outstripped those of passenger cars.
"Australians bought 465,646 SUVs during 2017 for a 39.2% share of the total market, compared with 450,012 passenger cars with a 37.8% share," he said.
"The shift in industry dynamic we observed last year has now become entrenched in our market. It is a growth pattern that we expect will continue."
Light commercial vehicles also carried on their steady sales climb last year, up from an 18.5% share of the total market in 2016 to 19.9% in 2017.
Weber said that, while the stability of the Australian economy and low interest rates were influential factors in the overall market growth, fierce competition between brands provided the momentum.
"Clearly consumers recognised the value for money that is on offer in the new vehicle market and responded accordingly. To have eight record months out of 12 in 2017 speaks volumes for how brands successfully placed new products and incentives into the market which kept attracting buyers into the showrooms right through the year."
The top-selling model for 2017 was the Toyota Hilux, for the second year in a row. It was also the top-seller in December with 3,949 sales, followed by the Holden Astra (3,533), the Ford Ranger (3,458), the Holden Colorado (3,222) and the Mazda 3 (2,807).