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Car buyers were on the accelerator until last Saturday. Now the motor industry is bracing for a buyer backlash and price rises.

The Federal election failed to put the brakes on new-car sales in June.

It was the single biggest month in Australian automotive history, with 128,569 vehicles delivered - up by 2.2 per cent on the previous record set in 2015, according to figures supplied by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

With 598,140 new vehicles reported as sold in the first six months of the year, the annual tally is on track to eclipse the 1.2 million mark for the first time.

It’s unclear at this stage what the outcome of the Federal election will do to consumer confidence.

However the car industry is bracing for a slowdown in the second half of 2016 amid the uncertainty of a hung parliament.

"We had a bumper start to the year and the lead-up to the election appeared to have a negligible impact on car sales," said Martin Benders, the boss of Mazda Australia, the number two brand overall behind market leader Toyota.

"But it’s unclear at this stage what the outcome of the Federal election will do to consumer confidence," he said.

There is also the possibility "Brexit" could drive up prices of Japanese cars - more than one-third of all models sold in Australia - as the Yen becomes a “safe haven” currency and increases in value.

"Add in global disruptions like Brexit … we may continue to see adverse currency impacts as well," said Mr Benders. "So we see the second half of the year as coming under pressure."

As reported exclusively by News Corp Australia on Friday, the Hyundai i30 hatchback was the top-selling car for the fourth month in a row - with the highest monthly tally of any vehicle in 11 years.

Driven by a $19,990 drive-away price - a staggering $7000 discount - the Hyundai i30 now leads the market year-to-date ahead of the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.

Hyundai as a brand has also defeated Holden every month so far this year; it is the first time General Motors has finished outside the Top Three in the half-yearly tally since 1948.

However, Hyundai's victory may be short-lived as it raised the price of its most popular model - the i30 automatic - by $3000 to $22,990 drive-away in July.

Most of the Top 10 brands posted solid gains or sales records in June - including Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai - and Ford posted its eighth month in a row of growth after 11 straight years of decline.

The Ford Ranger - in its popular 4x4 ute guise - beat the equivalent Toyota HiLux model for the third time in six months - but Toyota still leads ute sales year-to-date once all variants are combined.

Hyundai's sister brand Kia rocketed up the charts, with 41 per cent growth in June 2016 versus the same month last year.

Kia's sales spurt was driven by sharp drive-away prices across the range and the recent introduction of an industry-leading seven-year factory-backed warranty.

Holden, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen hit reverse - the latter due to running out of its popular small SUV ahead of an all-new model, rather than a buyer backlash to the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Luxury brands continued to drive sales growth with Mercedes-Benz (up 7.7 per cent) finishing just outside the Top 10, but ahead of its German rivals BMW (up 15.7 per cent) and Audi (up 2.5 per cent).

Porsche (up 18.6 per cent) and Land Rover (up 30 per cent) cashed in on the SUV boom, while Jaguar tripled its sales on the back of new models.

Super luxury marques also performed well: sales of Bentley cars were up by 50 per cent (from 12 deliveries to 18) and Rolls-Royce also grew by the same percentage (from 4 deliveries to 6) in June 2016 compared with the same month the previous year.

The news wasn't as good for Volvo (down 34.8 per cent), Peugeot (down 29.8 per cent) and Jeep, whose sales were slashed by more than half (55 per cent).

Top 10 brands in June 2016

Toyota - 22,083 - up 2.7 per cent
Mazda - 12,455 - up 8.1 per cent
Hyundai - 12,300 - up 11.7 per cent
Holden - 11,376 - down 4.6 per cent
Mitsubishi - 8726 - down 3.2 per cent
Ford - 8316 - up 14.7 per cent
Nissan - 6781 - up 2.2 per cent
Volkswagen - 5933 - down 16.5 per cent
Honda - 5265 - down 0.9 per cent
Kia - 5170 - up 41.0 per cent
Subaru - 5135 - up 14.1 per cent

Top 10 cars in June 2016

Hyundai i30 - 6432 - up 16.5 per cent
Toyota HiLux - 4613 - up 7.8 per cent
Toyota Corolla - 4427 - up 6.6 per cent
Mazda3 - 4112 - down 0.4 per cent
Ford Ranger - 4078 - up 20.9 per cent
Holden Commodore - 3054 - up 10.2 per cent
Toyota Camry - 3049 - up 17.2 per cent
Mitsubishi Triton - 2859 - down 18.9 per cent
Mazda CX-5 - 2643 - up 5.2 per cent
Holden Colorado - 2397 - up 1.6 per cent

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Vehicles. Figures are based on information supplied by car manufacturers, they are not based on registrations. Percentage changes compare the same month in 2015.

What do you think of the new-car sales figures? Does your car make the top 10? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Joshua Dowling
National Motoring Editor
Joshua Dowling was formerly the National Motoring Editor of News Corp Australia. An automotive expert, Dowling has decades of experience as a motoring journalist, where he specialises in industry news.
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