It appears that Australians, and in particular West Australians, have decided it's time to loosen the purse strings, with the car industry recording its biggest sales month in its more than 100-year history.
Official figures for June released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries this week show that 112,566 new vehicles were sold in June, smashing the previous record of 108,722 set in June 2010. It also puts the market well on target to bust the one-million barrier again this year. And it was West Australians who led the way, with sales breaking the 12,000 barrier here for the first time.
With plenty of incentives being offered by most manufacturers in the lead-up to the end of the financial year, 12,698 new cars were sold in WA, an increase of nearly 22 per cent compared with the same month last year.
The last time we got close to 12,000 sales in WA was in June 2007 with 11,995 vehicles sold. Since then, we have cracked more than 11,500 sales in a single month on two occasions, June 2008 (11,564) and June 2010 (11,647).
While the mining industry again played a pivotal role in the record sales, with the Toyota HiLux and Nissan Navara dual cabs among the top five sellers for the month, the small and medium passenger car markets also enjoyed solid growth.
But the dual-cab success was not restricted to WA. The HiLux was Australia's top-selling vehicle for the third consecutive month while the Navara found more than 3000 new owners and the Ford Ranger had its best sales month in two years with more than 1200 sales.
Our love of SUVs also seems to have been reignited, with small, medium, larger and upper-large SUVs all enjoying sales jumps of between 30 and 90 per cent compared with last year.
Hyundai and Toyota proved we still have a passion for sports cars, if the right vehicle is provided at the right price, with the newly launched Veloster (450 sales) and 86 (414) accounting for more than 50 per cent of sales in the sports car market which grew by more than 200 per cent compared with the same month last year.
While the 86 has been a runaway success for Toyota after just two months on sale, most buyers are now facing a wait of between six and 12 months to take delivery.
But as motorists embraced small cars, utes and SUVs, the Holden Commodore - Australia's favourite car for 15 years in a row until the end of last year - slipped to seventh place for the first time in the history of the nameplate.
In WA, it finished 13th with 204 sales for the month, down 37 per cent compared with last year. The once-dominant large Australian- built cars now account for less than 5 per cent of new cars sold.
Ford 9140Top Five Manufacturers, Year-To-Date
Ford 43,430Top Five Models, June
Nissan Navara 3034Top Five Models, Year-To-Date
Holden Commodore 15,860
Nissan 929Top 5 Manufacturers, Year-To-Date
Ford 4403Top 5 Models, June
Mazda3 334Top 5 Models, Year-To-Date
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.