Car yards sold more new vehicles in August than ever before, with 93,000 new vehicles hitting the roads.
More than 93,000 new vehicles were sold in August, seasonally adjusted, a 3.6 per cent jump on the previous month, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show.
The August sales figures were the highest on record, up 6.4 per cent compared to the same time last year.
The figures also showed continuing growth in sports utility vehicles sales, which now account for 28.3 per cent of auto sales.
However, Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said the figures weren’t as rosy for the auto industry as they appeared.
While total sales have risen, Australians are buying fewer new vehicles per capita than they were before the global financial crisis.
"We really haven’t kept up with population growth,” he said.
"On my reckoning we’re still about 15 per cent below where we were in terms of vehicle sales per capita."
Mr Hassan said vehicles sales were affected by several events in 2011, including the Queensland floods and the Japanese tsunami, making the annual rate of growth in sales appear stronger than it would have otherwise been.
The August figures also came after two weak months of sales.
Industry statistics released earlier in September showed the Toyota Hilux was the most popular vehicle in August, with 4010 sold during the month, followed by the Mazda 3, with 2990 sales, and the Toyota
Corolla with 2945 sales.
Toyota was also the most popular manufacturer, with 17,996 vehicles sold in the month, followed by Holden with 11,271 sales, the figures, released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed.