March 3, 2017 / 1:45 AM / 9 months ago

Australia new vehicle sales slip in Feb-VFACTS

SYDNEY, March 3 (Reuters) - Australian new vehicle sales turned lower in February even as sales of sport utility vehicles outpaced those of passenger cars for the first time ever.

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report out on Friday showed 89,025 new vehicles were sold in February, down 7.7 percent on the same month last year. February this year had one less selling day than in 2016.

Sales of SUVs dipped 3.7 percent on last year, but took 39.9 percent of the market just ahead of passenger vehicles which suffered a steep 12.2 percent decline.

Sales of light commercial vehicles fell 5.6 percent, while sales in the heavy vehicle market dropped 9.7 percent.

Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with 18.3 percent of the market. Mazda Motor Corp had another strong month taking 11.1 percent.

Hyundai Motor took third spot with 7.9 percent, ahead of Mitsubishi with 6.5 percent. The Holden unit of General Motors and Ford both held 6.4 percent. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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