Car sales bounce back after tragedies
Car sales bounce back after tragedies

Car dealers are looking happier. This time last year, supplies for many brands had dried to a trickle due to the dual tragedies of the Japanese tsunami and Thai floods.

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This year, May vehicle sales leapt 27 per cent in WA and 18 per cent nationally.

The turnaround from May 2011 is exemplified by perennial market leader Toyota.

Back then, it suffered a rare pipping by Holden but this May was back saluting the judge, with 20,443 national sales to Holden's 9017.

Other Japanese jumps were also huge - Subaru by 55 per cent, aided by the success of the new XV compact SUV, Mazda 41, Nissan 37, Honda 35 and Lexus 32.

But the comeback story was not confined to Asia, with many US and European brands enjoying May.

These included lifts by Skoda 116 per cent, Jeep 93, Dodge 68, Renault 35, Volkswagen 31, Land Rover 30 and Mercedes-Benz 24.

The drivers have been sharper pricing, new models and sweeteners like longer warranties, fixed-price servicing and cheap finance.

The top vehicle for May was the Toyota Hi-Lux, with its 4656 sales beating the Mazda3 by about 1400.

Then came the Toyota Corolla (3155), Holden Cruze (2860), Holden Commodore (2521), Nissan Navara (2436) and Hyundai i30 (2159).

Australians' passion for SUVs only intensified, with sales leaping by more than 50 per cent.

Most popular were the Toyota Prado (1900), all-new Mazda CX-5 (1680), Nissan X-Trail (1518), Toyota Rav (1356), Nissan Dualis (1330), Ford Territory (1280) and Toyota Kluger (1193).

As the Hi-Lux and Navara show, we also love our utes. Also selling fast were the Mitsubishi Triton (1845), Ford Ranger (1611) and Mazda BT-50 (1057).

The West Australian

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