Australian new vehicle sales fell in November, reflecting a further softening of economic conditions as a result of the global financial crisis.

Official VFACTS data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showed that 71,617 cars, trucks and light buses were sold in November – down 22.2% (20,464 vehicles) compared to the same month last year.

Year-to-date, new vehicle sales were down 2.9% with a total of 935,654 vehicles being sold.

“It is clear that people are being more cautious with their money as the magnitude of the global financial crisis deepens,” FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“Certainly the most recent interest rate cut was well justified and it is hoped this will help restore some confidence and stability to the marketplace,” he said.

“On the up-side, there are going to be some very competitive opportunities for anyone considering buying a car in the near future,” McKellar added.

Toyota retained the top sales position in November with a market share of 24.4% followed by Holden with 13.6% and Ford with 10.1%.

Year-to-date Toyota sold 219,984 vehicles, followed by Holden with 119,520 and Ford with 97,216 vehicles.