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Demand for new vehicles in Australia continued to grow during July with an increase of 16.1% on the same month last year, against a background of local COVID-19 restrictions and continuing supply chain challenges.

A total of 84,161 vehicles were sold compared with 72,505 during the corresponding Covid affected month last year.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said, despite the impacts of lockdowns on major retail locations, the market remained strong.

“The growth of 16.1% shows the underlying strength, confidence and resilience in the market in spite of the challenges being presented due to lockdowns and ongoing delivery issues caused by microprocessor shortages and shipping delays.

“The light commercial segment increased by 40.9% on July last year while SUV sales are up by 15%. We are also seeing the trend of restocking in the rental segment, with growth of 231.4% reflecting the increasing demand for local tourism and travel.

“Also significant this month is the strong demand for electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) in Victoria and NSW where state governments have introduced a road user charge offset by consumer grants and continuing infrastructure investment.

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By GlobalData

In Victoria, EV sales were up 191.1% and PHEV up 161.3% compared with July 2020. In NSW, EV sales increased by 260% and PHEV by 84.9%.

Toyota was market leader in July, selling 17,643 vehicles. Mazda led the rest of the brands with 8,919 vehicles sold. Ford (5,569), Mitsubishi (5,302) and Kia (5,202) followed.

The Toyota Hilux took the lead as highest selling vehicle model (4,610), followed by the Ford Ranger (4,064), the Toyota Corolla (2,535) and Isuzu Ute D-Max (2,427).