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July new car sales back up June all-time high

The Toyota Corolla was the top-seller for the fifth month this year.

Australians are continuing to gorge themselves on new cars, taking advantage of low interest rates before currency pressures force prices to rise later in the year.

Figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show last month was the biggest July on record, following the previous monthly all-time high in June.

If price hikes don't slow demand, Australia is on track to eclipse 1.1 million vehicle sales for the fourth year in a row, and even beat the 2013 record result of 1,136,227 deliveries.

Toyota stretched its margin as market leader, and sold almost as many cars in the first seven months of 2015 (118,550) as it did in a full year 20 years ago (120,000).

By the end of 2015 Toyota will have been number one for 13 years in a row, after it overtook Holden in 2002.

The Toyota Corolla was the top-seller for the fifth month this year, and is on track to become Australia's favourite car for the third year in a row after increasing its margin over the Mazda3.

Hyundai's sales burst in June came to an abrupt end in July, leading to suspicion it may have declared cars as sold in June that weren't delivered until last month.

After an epic June result of 5500 Hyundai i30 deliveries, the South Korean car maker sold half as many of the same car in July; dealers have told CarsGuide there were 1000 cars "pushed" onto them and counted in June but weren't delivered to paying customers until the following month.

The practice casts a shadow over Hyundai's June status as the top-selling car, only the second time it had achieved that feat since the plucky Hyundai Excel knocked off the Commodore in June 1998.

Most of the Top 10 brands were either up or posted July records, but the news continued to be grim for Holden and Ford, even when the tallies include their imported vehicles.

Holden sales were down 9.3 per cent while Ford was down by a staggering 16.3 per cent from a low base.

With Toyota and Mazda filling the top two spots year-to-date, Holden is now in a battle with Hyundai to hold on to third spot this year.

Hyundai beat Holden for the fourth month this year in July, but Holden has a narrow lead in the year-to-date tally.

The two brands are now separated by just 1022 sales after seven months.

If Holden finishes the year in fourth, it will be first the time the homegrown brand has not been in the Top 3 since the first model arrived in 1948 -- and it will be the first time Hyundai has ranked third in Australia, or any other developed market outside South Korea.

Two of Ford's best performing vehicles are the Falcon and Territory, and they'll be gone in 12 months.

Holden and Ford clearly have a long road to recovery ahead of them.

Meanwhile Mercedes-Benz pipped Honda by just five sales to make the Top 10 for only the fifth time since May 2014.

Top 10 cars in July

Toyota Corolla - 3573
Mazda3 - 2825
Hyundai i30 - 2750
Toyota HiLux - 2579
Mitsubishi Triton - 2238
Mazda CX-5 - 2223
Toyota Camry - 2124
Holden Commodore - 2030
Ford Ranger - 2013
Volkswagen Golf - 1675

Top 10 brands in July

Toyota - 16,840
Mazda - 9356
Hyundai - 8511
Holden - 7895
Ford - 5747
Mitsubishi - 5189
Nissan - 4937
Volkswagen - 4908
Subaru - 3354
Mercedes-Benz - 3052