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New-car sales boom in June

Riding Hi: Toyota’s HiLux is believed to be one of the major contributors in a record June as pick-ups and SUVs more than take up the slack from declining passenger car volumes.

June shapes up as motor industry record, thanks to SUVs and pick-ups

General News logo4 Jul 2017

THE Australian motor industry appears to have smashed its monthly new-vehicle sales record in June, putting it back on target to achieve its third successive annual sales record.

Industry sources say unverified figures suggest a June sales tally of about 135,000 units, some 6500 units or 5.0 per cent above the previous one-month record of 128,569 vehicles set last June.

Motor companies excelled themselves with end-of-financial-year specials, creating an unprecedented buyers’ market, especially for business buyers.

GoAuto understands that while sales of passenger cars continued their sales slide, growth in sales of SUVs and utes more than made up for the dip in sedans and hatchbacks.

Official VFACTS figures for June – due out on Wednesday – are expected to show that market leader Toyota has eclipsed last June’s tally of 22,083 units on the back of across-the-board sales gains.

HiLux and Camry – a particular focus of Toyota end-of-financial-year marketing each June – both appear to have had big results, with Camry apparently exceeding last June’s tally of 3049 sales.

Many other brands have enjoyed similar gains, with mid-sized importers almost universally reporting record or near-record results.

Mitsubishi believes it shifted more than 9000 units for the month, led by Triton, ASX and Outlander.

Although this is not its best month in history, it is still several hundred units above the company’s tally of 8726 units last June.

It also sealed one of Mitsubishi’s best sales quarters in history, cementing the Japanese importer’s comeback as an SUV/light-commercial vehicle specialist.

Hyundai appears to have had one of its best months, achieving more than 12,000 sales in June for the second year in succession.

Kia dealers are saying they had their best month ever, with suggestions that national Kia sales could have come close to 7000 units for the first time.

The South Korean importer is running about 30 per cent ahead of last year – the best percentage gain of any top-10 contender this year.

It appears to have out-sold several Japanese and European brands, such as Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Volkswagen, even though many of these also made hay in June.

Unofficially, Honda is saying it believes it had its best June in almost a decade, with more than 5000 vehicles sold, even though one of its top sellers, the CR-V, is in run-out ahead of an all-new model soon.

The Honda charge was led by Civic (more than 1800 units) and HR-V (about 1500).

Some luxury car-makers also had a blinder, with Mercedes-Benz estimating June sales of about 4300 units, of which about 500 were high-end AMG vehicles.

The industry result is expected to lift new-vehicle sales back into the black after trailing last year’s figures to the end of May by 0.9 per cent.

It could mean that the industry reaches 600,000 units in the first half of a year for the first time, putting it on track to beat the current full-year record of 1,178,133 set last year.

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