SYDNEY Feb 3 Australian new vehicle sales edged
higher in January, maintaining the momentum of last year's
record pace as buyers continued to flock to sport utility
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries'
VFACTS report out on Friday showed 84,910 new vehicles were sold
in January, up 0.6 percent on the same month last year. Some
1.178 million vehicles were sold in 2016, an all-time high.
Private buyers returned to the market in force, taking 7.7
percent more SUVs than in January last year, as businesses and
government sales pulled back.
"Coming off the back of another record sales year, we're
pleased to see a modest gain, with private buyers active in the
market," said FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber.
Total sales of SUVs were up 3.2 percent on last year, while
passenger cars dipped 0.8 percent continuing a long-running
switch between the two.
Sales of light commercial vehicles dipped 3.9 percent after
a run of strong months, while sales in the heavy vehicle market
jumped 20.9 percent.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales
ladder but with a reduced share of 14.8 percent. In contrast,
Mazda Motor Corp had a barnstorming month to take 11.9
percent of the market.
The Holden unit of General Motors took third spot
with 8.5 percent, topping Hyundai Motor at 7.9
percent. Ford followed with 7.0 percent of the market.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Eric Meijer)