Australian new vehicle sales fell 1.5% year on year to 81,220 in October and Tony Weber, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), said the results were welcome news for the automotive industry.

"After a very challenging year, we are seeing green shoots in the Australian new vehicle market. Every state and territory except Victoria and Tasmania have seen significant growth and, given the [extended lockdown] circumstances, Victoria's result is seen as encouraging," Weber said.

Year to date, new vehicle sales fell 18.8% to 726,111.

"These results mark the 31st month of decreasing sales for the industry which has experienced a series of financial and market challenges during the period," Weber added.

"However, the green shoots that we are seeing in October give us great hope that we may begin to see further recovery during the coming months.

"Nationally, the state of industry operations is returning to normal as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Additionally, government initiatives such as a constructive budget that included the instant asset write off, along with more accessible finance for consumers, is also acting as a welcome stimulus for the industry.

"Electrified vehicles also experienced a surge during the month, more than doubling in their total sales compared to October 2019.  This shows that Australian consumers are willing to explore new drivetrain technology."

During the month, 17,794 passenger vehicles were sold, for a 21.9% market shared, down 24.5% from October 2019. SUVs claimed 50.8% with 41,220 sales, up 6.7%. Light commercial vehicles accounted for 23.6% with 19,152 sales, up 11.6%.

Toyota was the top selling brand for the month, with 19,505 sales, followed by Mazda with 7,457, Hyundai with 5,951, Ford with 5,744 and Kia with 5,304.

The top five selling models for the month were the Toyota Hi Lux with 4,444 sales, the Ford Ranger with 4,217, the Toyota RAV4 with 4,084, the Toyota Landcruiser with 2,429 and the Toyota Prado with 2,207.

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