[SYDNEY] Sales of new vehicles in Australia rose 6.9 per cent in November compared with the same period a year ago, a third month of strong gains that looked set to make 2015 a record.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report on Thursday showed total sales were 98,639 in November, compared with 92,232 for the same month last year. Both months had the same number of selling days.
Sales were up 4.6 per cent from October, reaching the highest ever November total.
The running total for 2015 rose to 1.06 million, 3.9 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
Sports utility vehicles (SUV) extended their blistering run with sales up 16.2 per cent on last year. Sales of passenger vehicles dipped 3.1 per cent, while demand for light commercial vehicles jumped 16.0 per cent. Sales of heavy vehicles rose by 8.7 per cent.
The strength of commercial vehicle sales could be a harbinger of firmer business investment in the month.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with a market share of 18.7 per cent in November.
Mazda Motor Corp took second spot with 9.9 per cent, followed by the local Holden unit of General Motors Co at 9.0 per cent.
Hyundai Motor Co held 8.5 per cent of the market, while Nissan had an unusually strong month to take 7.3 per cent. Ford trailed with 6.4 per cent.