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[SYDNEY] Sales of new vehicles in Australia hit a record in June as seasonal price competition boosted demand for SUVs and commercial vehicles, a sign consumers still had the confidence to splash out on big ticket items.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report on Tuesday showed 128,569 new vehicles were sold in June, up 2.2 per cent on June last year. Both months had the same number of selling days.
Sales were up 33 per cent on May. June is typically a strong month as dealers cut prices to clear stock for the end of Australia's financial year.
The running total for 2016 rose to 598,140, 3.4 per cent ahead of the same period last year. Total sales for all of 2015 was a record 1.16 million units.
Sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in June rose 8.9 per cent on last year, sucking demand away from passenger vehicles which slipped 4.5 per cent. Light commercial vehicles had another upbeat month with sales rising 5.9 per cent and hinting at resilience in business investment.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with a market share of 17.2 per cent in June. Mazda Motor Corp took second spot with 9.7 per cent, followed by the Hyundai Motor Co at 9.6 per cent.
The Holden unit of General Motors trailed with 8.8 per cent and Ford managed just 6.5 per cent.