New Vehicle Sales in Australia Drop 0.6% in March image

Auto sales in Australia dropped 0.6% in March, from February, the third consecutive month of losses due to an unprecedented drop in demand.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics new vehicle sales in March reached 95,113 units, a slight drop from 95,716 units in February. Sales in February dropped 0.1% and 2.1% in January. Sales in March fell 0.6% compared with an increase of 4.5% in March 2012. Last month sales were taken down by sales of other vehicles such as trucks down 9.1%, SUVs down 0.5%, compared with an increase of 3.3% for passenger vehicles.

Industry data at the beginning of April showed that sales in Australia increased 4.7% in March, contrasting the ABS report. Last month had three fewer selling days compared with March 2012. The best-selling automaker remained Toyota, followed by Mazda, Nissan and Hyundai.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics new vehicle sales in February remained at the same level with those in January, at a seasonally adjusted 95,708 units, after a 2.2% fall in January. But sales were still up 9.4% compared with February 2012. SUV sales were up 0.3%, passenger vehicle sales dropped 1.0% and truck sales fell 1.7%.