SYDNEY May 16 Australian sales of new vehicles
edged higher in April, slowing from the previous month as the
timing of holidays reduced the selling days for the month and
demand for sports utilities fell.
Tuesday's data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
showed national sales rose 0.3 percent in April from March, when
they increased by 1.9 percent. Sales of 97,136 vehicles were up
0.1 percent on April last year.
April this year had two fewer selling days compared with a
year ago, owing to Easter and Anzac Day public holidays, while a
school break also fell during the month.
Sales of sports utilities fell 2.8 percent month-on-month,
after rising 3 percent in March, while passenger vehicle sales
rose 2.1 percent. Sales of other vehicles, including trucks,
rose 2.8 percent on-month.
Earlier in May, the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive
Industries' VFACTS report also showed a sharp rise in 4x4
vehicle sales for April.
According to VFACTS, Toyota Motor Corp retained
first-place on the sales ladder, with 19.4 percent of the
market. Mazda Motor Corp was second with 10.4 per cent,
followed by Hyundai Motor Co with 8.2 per cent.
The Holden unit of General Motors and Ford each
held 7 percent.
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)