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Australia new vehicle sales break records in 2015
[SYDNEY] Sales of new vehicles in Australia rose solidly in December to make 2015 a record-breaking year for the sector, a sign consumers are confident enough to splash out on big-ticket items.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report on Wednesday showed total sales were 99,616 in December, up 2.9 per cent on the same month of 2014. Both months had the same number of selling days.
That brought vehicle sales for 2015 to 1.16 million units, 1.7 per cent higher than the previous record hit in 2013.
Australians spend around A$20 billion on vehicles annually, equal to almost 9 per cent of total household consumption.
Australians continued their love affair with sports utility vehicles (SUV) where sales in December were 15.5 per cent higher than the same month of 2014. SUVs now account for over 35 per cent of the market.
Those gains have come partly at the expense of passenger vehicles which dipped 1.9 per cent in December.
Sales of light commercial vehicles fell 7.1 per cent but that followed a very strong November. Sales of heavy vehicles rose by 7.6 per cent.
The strength of commercial vehicle sales could be a harbinger of firmer business investment in the last few months.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder in December with an increased market share of 21.3 per cent. For all of 2015 its share slipped half a per centage point to 17.8 per cent .
Mazda Motor Corp held second spot in December with 9.7 per cent, followed by the local Holden unit of General Motors Co at 9.2 per cent.
Mitsubishi jumped to fourth place with 7.5 per cent, pipping Hyundai Motor Co at 7.2 per cent. Ford trailed with 6.3 per cent and the brand also suffered the biggest fall in market share for the year as a whole.