Australia: New car sales in November up 1.5 percent image

The Australian Chamber of Automotive Industries, on Monday said 88,654 new cars, trucks and buses were sold last month in Australia – an improvement of 1.5 per cent over November last year.

This was the second-highest November month on record, surpassed only by the 92,801 sales result in 2007.

However, on a year-to-date basis, total sales for 2011 are down 2.4 percent or 23,009 vehicles behind the same period last year.

In November there were sold 46,712 new passenger vehicles, 24,182 SUV’s, 15,163 light commercial vehicles and 2,597 Heavy Commercial Vehicles.

FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers says that while the total for 2011 will finish down on 2010, it is still likely to be a very good overall result for the automotive industry.

“For the past four months in a row sales have been trending above the same period for 2010. This suggests improving consumer confidence in Australia’s economic prospects,” Mr Chalmers said.

However, as expected, Thailand’s worst floods in more than half a century have forced production stoppages of Australia’s most popular utes and will affect availability and delivery times of models such as the new Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara.

Ford, which has also suspended part of its Thai production, says it is working closely with its affected suppliers, and is trying to return to full production as quickly as possible, in an attempt to minimise the flow-on affects to other areas in the supply chain, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The flooding will cost manufacturers millions of dollars, not only in Thailand, but in neighbouring countries like Australia and also further afield.