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New car sales up 18 per cent

Last month a record 89,218 new-vehicle sales were reported up a solid 18.3 per cent on the 74,441 of May last year. The previous best May was in 2008, before the global financial crisis, with 8,640.

It means 422,446 new-vehicle sales this year nationally, a good 20 per cent growth (or 70,000 more sales) on the first five months of last year.  The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, which released its Vfacts figures yesterday, now projects total sales of more than 1 million this calendar year.

David Buttner, sales and marketing boss for Toyota which remains most popular brand in Australia predicts 1 million sales now will be easily passed in the financial year about to end.  In the 11 months of this financial year, the tally reads 904,551 vehicles. The final four weeks of ‘end of financial year sales’ have begun, and in each of the past three June totals, 100,000 has been achieved.

Mr Buttner pointed out one in five new vehicles sold in Australia was now a Toyota.  FCAI head, Andrew McKellar said the SUV segment with 29 per cent growth on May last year and passenger cars, up 19 per cent, were leaders.

"But all segments increased during the month, demonstrating a genuine recovery in the marketplace," he said.  He said private buyers were returning in large numbers, taking over the momentum provided by business buyers this year.  Holden achieved its fifth consecutive month of growth, 24 per cent up on May last year.

The Commodore with 3899 sales last month regained its top place while Toyota's HiLux, the April leader, was back to second place on 3665. It means Commodore remains in front in sales so far this year in its fight to be Australia's favourite car again in 2010.

Falcon has third place for May and Mazda3 outsold rival Toyota Corolla while Holden Cruze imported at present but to be built in Adelaide from next year is in sixth place.  Mitsubishi is celebrating after its Lancer doubled sales of May last year to leap into the top-cars list.  Vehicles selling more than 1500 last month (with year-to-date in brackets):

1. Holden Commodore 3899 (18,428)
2. Toyota HiLux 3665 (17,287)
3. Ford Falcon 3258 (13,349)
4. Mazda3 2901 (16,155)
5. Toyota Corolla 2796 (14,933)
6. Holden Cruze 2484 (11,416)'
7. Hyundai i30 2385 (13,588)
8. Mitsubishi Lancer 2368 (10,129)
9. Nissan Navara 1972 (8731)
10. Toyota Camry 1966 (9088)
11. Hyundai Getz 1957 (9629)
12, Subaru Impreza 1597 (5253)
13. Toyota Prado 1575 (7488)
14. Mitsubishi Triton 1552 (6524)