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Australia new vehicle sales dip in Sept, commercial still strong

[SYDNEY] Australian new vehicle sales took a dip in September after a run of record months, though continued strength in the commercial sector augured well for business spending in the economy.

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report out on Wednesday showed 100,200 new vehicles were sold in September, down 2.4 per cent on the same month last year. Both months had the same number of selling days.

Sales for the year to date were still running 0.2 per cent ahead of the same period in 2016.

Sales of passenger cars extended their long decline with a fall of 9.3 per cent in September, and even the red-hot sports utilities sector took a breather with a dip of 1.3 per cent.

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Yet demand for commercial vehicles showed no signs of waning with the light sector up 8.1 per cent and heavy vehicles jumping 15.4 per cent on September last year.

Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with a reduced share of 17.3 per cent of the market, while Mazda Motor Corp made a strong showing by taking an unusually high 10.3 per cent.

Hyundai Motor held third spot with 8.1 per cent, followed by Mitsubishi at 7.1 per cent. The Holden unit of General Motors trailed with 6.9 per cent, ahead of Ford at 6.8 per cent.

REUTERS