Australian new motor vehicle sales are accelerating

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Australian new car sales edged higher in November with the ABS reporting an increase of 1% to 97,696 in seasonally adjusted terms.

By category, sales of “other” vehicles rose by 6.6%, overshadowing a 0.7% lift in those for passenger vehicles. Sales of four wheel drives, classified as sports utility vehicles by the ABS, dipped 1.6% following a 2.7% contraction in October.

Despite the two months of declines, sales in the category rose 17% from a year earlier, overshadowing a 10.1% increase in sales of other vehicles and 3.6% decline in passenger vehicle sales.

In numeric terms, total vehicles sales over the past year rose to 1.153 million, the highest level on record. Sales of four wheel drives hit 404,771, explaining much of the increase in total vehicle sales.

By state and territory, sales increased in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia but fell in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT.

From a year earlier, sales slid in Western Australia (-3.8%) and the Northern Territory (-12.2%), reflective of the divergent economic performance between mining and non-mining states.

Sales in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, the ACT and Victoria rose by 13.8%, 8.3%, 7.1%, 5.9% and 3.0% respectively. Sales in South Australia were more or less flat at 0.4%.

In overall terms, sales nationwide rose by 6.0%.

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