Australia’s new vehicle sales fell in July compared to the same month last year, although there were improvements in small cars, sports cars and in the SUV category.

Data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showed that 75,333 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in July 2009, a fall of 10.3% on July last year.

Year-to-date 530,556 new vehicles were sold, down 15.3% on the same period last year.

“There is evidence that there has been some flow-on from the very strong June sales result, particularly from buyers accessing the business tax break on new investments,” FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“This has been a very successful stimulus measure and small businesses remain eligible for a 50% tax break until the end of the year,” he said.

The figures showed some categories had better news to report. Sales of small cars were up 2.7% in July, sports car volume jumped 10.3% and medium SUV sales rose 2.4%. Luxury SUVs also performed well, increasing 7.2%.

Toyota retained top slot with 16,664 sales ahead of GM’s Holden (10,266) and Ford (7,783).