[SYDNEY] Australian new vehicle sales boasted their busiest April on record with another strong result for commercial vehicles pointing to solid business investment in the month.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries'VFACTS report on Tuesday showed total sales were 87,571 in April, up 7.2 per cent on a year earlier.
Australians spend around A$20 billion on vehicles annually, equal to almost 9 per cent of household consumption. The strength of demand is a contrast to softness in retail sales and suggests consumers are still confident enough to splash out on big ticket items.
Demand for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) remained hot, with sales up 7.1 per cent on April last year, while passenger vehicles had a better month with an increase of 4.7 per cent.
Sales of light commercial vehicles jumped 14.1 per cent, a fourth straight month of brisk gains that should add to overall business investment in the economy.
Sales of heavy vehicles rose 3.6 per cent.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder in March with an expanded market share of 18.9 per cent. Hyundai Motor Co took second with 9.9 per cent, pipping Mazda Motor Corp at 9.7 per cent.
Ford followed with 7.8 per cent, just ahead of the local Holden unlit of General Motors Co at 7.7 per cent.