Australia’s motor industry has now posted five months of record sales for 2017, with August the fourth successive month of record gains and the highest August outcome on record, according to the motor industry’s official statistical service, VFACTS.

The August result of 96,662 sales was 1.8 per cent more than for the same month last year and comes on the back of a July result of 92,754 sales. These numbers keep the industry on track for another record year, with the overall market now at 788,968 sales for the year to date, compared with 784,380 for the same period in 2016.

Comparing the August outcome with that of the corresponding month in 2016, sales of small SUVs grew significantly by 22.8 per cent and medium SUVs by 14 per cent. Light passenger cars also showed firm growth with a 7 per cent gain.

Light commercial vehicles were also strong contributors to the healthy August total. Sales of pick-up and cab-chassis 4X4s rose by 23 per cent over the same month last year, and two-wheel drive models increased by 2.7 per cent.

Every State and Territory other than Tasmania increased sales over August 2016. The ACT showed the strongest growth at 9.4 per cent, followed by Western Australia with a 4.2 per cent increase, Queensland (+3.5%), Northern Territory (+2.6%), Victoria (+1.7), NSW (+1.1%) and South Australia (+0.1%).

Sales to private buyers during August provided impetus for the month’s good outcome.

Private SUV sales rose by 7.6 per cent; however the big gain was in private light commercial sales, which rose 23.4 per cent. Light commercial sales to business also provided a useful boost, with a 12.8 per cent increase over August 2016. Across the market private sales rose by 3.7 per cent.

Diesels remained the preferred engine of choice among light commercial buyers during August. Sales of diesel engine light commercials to private buyers rose 26.3 per cent, while diesel sales to non-private light commercial buyers rose 18.8 per cent compared with the same month last year.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Tony Weber said the rise of SUVs and light commercials was providing the generator for the industry’s growth.

“More new models coming into the market in both these segments is creating strong consumer interest and helping to fuel the industry’s momentum,” Mr Weber said.

“This August result provides confidence that should all the positive contributing factors within the economy remain in place, sales during the back half of the year will keep us on track for another record year.”

Toyota had a market-leading share of 19.2 per cent during August, followed by Mazda with 8.8 per cent, Hyundai (8.1%), Holden (7.2%), Ford (6.9%) and Mitsubishi (6.9%).

The Toyota Hilux remained the country’s best-selling vehicle during August with 4,287 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger with 3,588, the Toyota Corolla in third place with 2,948, the Hyundai Tucson (2,206) and the Mazda3 (2,163).

Key Points:

  • The August 2017 market of 96,662 new vehicle sales is an increase of 1,753 vehicle sales or 1.8% on August 2016 (94,909) vehicle sales. August 2017 (26.5) had the same number of selling days as August 2016, which resulted in an increase of 66.2 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 3,212 vehicle sales (-8.2%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 1,721 vehicle sales (4.7%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 2,793 vehicle sales (16.7%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 451 vehicle sales (16.0%) versus August 2016.
  • Toyota was market leader in August, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda, with a margin of 10,000 vehicle sales and 10.4 market share points.

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