New vehicle sales were down slightly in March 2016 against the same time last year, with passenger cars dropping while SUV sales continue to boom.

WHILE NEW CAR SALES in March were down by 0.5% against March 2015, the market overall is tracking ahead of the same period last year (up 2.8%) – sales since January to March 31 have reached 285,328.

According to figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the decline in new car sales is down to a decrease in demand for passenger vehicles. Indeed, passenger vehicle sales dropped 9.4% in March compared with the same month last year. On the other hand, SUVs continue to drive the market, up 8.3% on March 2015. Light commercial vehicles were up 7.1%.

“This is in line with the trend over the recent period with significantly increased popularity of the SUV vehicle range. The features of these vehicles are certainly attracting the mainstream Australian buyer,” said FCAI CEO, Tony Weber.

Overall sales of SUVs are up 13.8% year to date with sales of 108,369 vehicles, representing 38% of total sales. Light commercial vehicles represent 18.1% of total year to date sales and passenger vehicles 41.5%. 

Toyota maintained the market leadership with 17.1% of total sales in March 2016, followed by Mazda with 9.8%, Hyundai with 9.3%, Holden with 8% and Mitsubishi with 6.2%. 

The top selling vehicle for March 2016 was the Hyundai i30 with 4198 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux (3897), the Toyota Corolla (3612) the Mazda 3 (3145) and the Ford Ranger (2960). 


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