A record month and a 2.2% increase over the strong monthly result last year has steered Australia's new car industry to its best first half result ever.
An industry record of 128,569 sales for June has boosted Australia's half-yearly total to 598,140, 3.4% above the same period last year and setting the industry firmly on track for another record year.
The FCAI said the outstanding June result scotched any suggestion that a federal election campaign may have a dampening effect on consumer activity, and buyers responded vigorously to the value that was on offer in the marketplace.
"The end of the financial year historically is always very busy for the industry but this was an exceptional month," FCAI said.
"This time the final month of the financial year led right into a federal election and yet despite some suggestions this may stifle consumer sentiment, the market continued its strong momentum.".
"Without any doubt this proves that competition is fierce, this is providing an important stimulative effect on our economy, and the current market environment is at its healthiest in decades by delivering affordable vehicles that are attractive to customers.
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"Consumers are recognising the great value generated by this competition and have responded accordingly off the back of record low interest rates."
SUVs were again the dominant force in the market, with sales up 8.9% on the same month last year. Small SUVs were the strongest performers in this segment, recording a rise of 18.2% over June last year. Passenger motor vehicle sales fell 4.5% while light commercials – in particular, 4X4 pick-ups and cab-chassis – increased 5.9% on June 2015.
Light commercial and SUV sales to business were up by 16.4 and 18.7% respectively, compared with the same month last year. Of note was the significant increase – 37.6% – in the sale of diesel SUVs to non-private buyers.
Interestingly, while the June market for passenger cars showed a slight overall decline, the appeal of locally manufactured passenger cars increased by 189, to 9,857, over the same month last year.
The top five best sellers in June were the Hyundai i30, with a notable 6,432 result, followed by the Toyota Hilux (4,613), Toyota Corolla (4,427), Mazda 3 (4,112) and the Ford Ranger (4,078).
Toyota sold 22,083 cars in June and had a dominant 17.2% share of the overall market, followed by Mazda (9.7), Hyundai (9.6), Holden (8.8), and Mitsubishi (6.8).