In the final year of local production, with GM and Toyota set to close their factories in October, vehicle sales in Australia set a record monthly result in June, according to VFACTS statisticians.
June sales reached a new monthly record high of 134,171, an increase of 4.4% year on year.
As has been the case for months, sales of SUVs and light commercials boosted the June result. SUV volume was up by 11.7% and light commercials by 12.2%. Passenger vehicle sales were down by 5.9%.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) said demand was, in the main, driven by the business sector with sales to businesses for passenger cars increasing by 5.7%, demand for SUVs up 16.6% and light commercials by the same 16.6%.
FCAI noted a highly competitive market, low interest rates and the government's instant asset write-off provisions were likely contributors to the record result. The June sales spike lifted 2017 year-to-date results 0.2% ahead of the June 2016 YTD result.
The most significant June volume growth was in medium SUV segment (5,402 sales, up by 32.6%), upper large SUV (+20.8%), and pick-up/cab-chassis 4X4 light commercials (+16.7%). The two passenger vehicle segments which lifted during June were sports cars (+38.2%) and people movers [MPVs or minivans] (+15.4%).
The SUV market growth reflected demand across all buyer types with sales to business up by 16.6%, sales to government up 8.4% and private sales up by 5.4% compared with the same month last year. Light commercials showed a similar pattern across all the buyer groups with business purchases up by 16.6%, sales to government up by 12.5% and private by 2.6%.
Toyota remained the industry leader in June with a market share of 18.3%, followed by Mazda with a 9.3% share, and Hyundai on 9.1%. Holden (9,273 sales) and Mitsubishi (9,266 sales) both had 6.9% of the market.
The Toyota Hilux remained the country's top-selling vehicle with 5,461 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger with 5,051, the Toyota Corolla third with 3,830, the Hyundai Tucson fourth with 3,741 sales, and Mazda 3 fifth with 3,490.