SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s vehicle sales continued to climb in August as ongoing supply issues and the impact of lockdowns in NSW and Victoria were offset by booming demand elsewhere.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said vehicle sales surged 33.1 per cent in August from a year ago, with 81,199 new cars and trucks retailed across the country.
That took sales for the eight months so far this year to 732,828, a jump of 27.2 per cent over the same period last year.
The increase comes despite COVID-19 restricting access to vehicle showrooms in several states and territories. Still, only the ACT and NSW recorded declines.
Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory all recorded more than 30 per cent growth from August 2020, while sales in Victoria, which had been in a lockdown at this time last year, rebounded more than 150 per cent.
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The uncertainty around lockdowns meant manufacturers were having to remain agile in the ways they engaged with customers, FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said.
“With access to showrooms limited, vehicle makers are working to engage customers in their homes and other places of isolation,” he said.
Manufacturers are also working with their suppliers to match vehicles with market demand, resulting in strong sales of electric SUVs amid a global shortage of microprocessor parts, he says.
Toyota was the top-selling company in August with 19,959 vehicles, ahead of Mazda on 7645, Kia on 5065, Ford on 5058, and Hyundai on 5016.
The Toyota HiLux was the best-selling vehicle on 4470, beating the Ford Ranger on 3959, the Toyota Corolla on 3563 and the Toyota Rav 4 on 3169.
The August market included stronger demand for electric and plug-in hybrids.
Sales of electric cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles jumped 138.7 per cent from a year ago, while hybrid demand was 185 per cent higher.
Some 370 electric vehicles and 293 plug-ins were sold across the country last month.
Among alternative-powered vehicles, standard hybrids continue to dominate with nearly 6500 retailed in August.