Sales of new vehicles in Australia were up a brisk 10.9 percent in November from a year earlier, industry data showed on Wednesday, with consumers still ready to splash out on big ticket items despite being cost concious elsewhere.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries VFACTS report showed total vehicle sales in November were 98,347, compared to 88,654 in the same month last year.
Sales were up 2.9 percent on October, while in seasonally adjusted terms the increase was 0.1 percent. For the 11 months to November, sales were running at 1.02 million, up 9.8 percent on the same period last year.
Sales of sport utility vehicles finally started to slow somewhat after a meteoric rise, but were still up 8.1 percent on November last year. The light commercial market was also strong with a rise of 15 percent and the heavy truck market enjoyed a jump of 19.7 percent, pointing to solid business investment.
The strength of vehicle sales has been in stark contrast with softness seen in retail spending, with consumers perhaps attracted by low interest rates on car loans.
For November alone, Toyota retained first place on the sales ladder with 19.6 percent of the market. The Holden unit of General Motors held second spot with 10.5 percent, while Mazda seized third with 8.9 percent.
Ford dropped back a place with 8.7 percent, while Hyundai took 7.9 percent.