Australia March Auto Sales Up 7.4% image

Australia auto sales in March increased 7.4%, surpassing spending in the retail sector.

According to the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries auto sales last month reached 97, 400 units, compared with 90,218 vehicles sold in February. Sales adjusted for seasonal factors were up 4.7%, according to the report. In March 2012 sales dropped 0.2%, the main reason being that last month had three fewer selling days, which means that auto sales per day were up 11.1% compared with last year’s March.

During the first three months of the year sales increased 5% compared with the same period last year, setting the annual pace growth at a record 1.155 million vehicles. Demand for SUVs remained high, up 6.3% from March 2012. The auto sales strength surpassed the retail spending, as consumers were drawn by low interest rates on vehicle loans.

Toyota took the first place in sales with a 19.2% market share, followed by Mazda with 9.4% and Nissan and Hyundai on the third place with 8.6% each. GM’s Holden units reached an 8.5% market share and Ford had a poor performance with 6.6%.

Details of the VFACTS report in original terms. Sales for March:

Passenger Vehicles -2,432 -4.8
Sports Utility +1,720 +6.3
Light Commercial +417 +2.5
Heavy Commercial +79 +3.1