Car sales record in May

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCH­LIFFE

NEW car sales are through the roof as man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer sweet­en­ers such as hefty dis­counts or free on­road costs in the end-of­fi­nan­cial-year sales war.

May set a new record with of­fi­cial VFacts data this week show­ing 96,069 ve­hi­cles were sold, up 24.1 per cent (or 18,668) on the same month last year when sup­ply was dis­rupted by the Ja­pan tsunami and Thai floods.

So far this year sales are up 8.8 per cent (35,209 ve­hi­cles) to 435,288 with the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries pre­dict­ing a record year in ex­cess of one mil­lion sales.

Western Aus­tralia and Queens­land are the top- performing states this year up 13.3 per cent and 11.3 per cent, re­spec­tively.

The Toy­ota Hi-Lux ute was the top-sell­ing car for the sec­ond month in a row with 3539 sold and 15,104 in the first five months of the year.

How­ever, it trails both two small cars, the Mazda3 (17,889) and Toy­ota Corolla (15,222) so far this year, with the Holden Com­modore in fourth (13,117).

Mazda3 last year ended Com­modore’s al­most 20-year reign as the topselling ve­hi­cle in Aus­tralia.

Le­gal sec­re­tary and law stu­dent 23-year-old Elise Neu­mann is one of the new breed of Mazda3 con­verts.

She’s a first-time Mazda buyer who shopped around ex­ten­sively be­fore buy­ing a new Mazda3 Neo.

‘‘I wanted a car that had a good rep­u­ta­tion and that I knew would be re­li­able. Also looks were very im­por­tant to me,’’ she says.

‘‘In its price range— com­pared to other cars — it’s bet­ter qual­ity inside and out and much nicer to drive than any other car I test drove in that price range.

‘‘I’m ab­so­lutely in love with it.’’

Tra­di­tional large car favourites Holden Com­modore (2521 sales in May) and Ford Fal­con (1008) have even been out­sold by their smaller sta­ble­mates the Cruze (2860) and Fo­cus (1667).

Toy­ota con­tin­ues to top the sales, de­liv­er­ing 20,441 ve­hi­cles in May to rel­e­gate Holden to sec­ond on 9013 with Mazda in third on 8346.

Ford scored a rare success over Hyundai, mov­ing into fourth for the month, as the Korean brand was nearly un­seated by Nis­san (trail­ing 6886 to 6883) af­ter a strong bonus pro­gram in the Ja­panese brand’s show­rooms.

All com­pa­nies are now in their end-of-fi­nan­cial-year sell­ing pro­grams with big bonuses for buy­ers, es­pe­cially fleet cus­tomers.

New con­vert Elise Neu­mann, 23, with her Mazda3, Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar car

The Toy­ota HiLux topped the sales ta­ble in May

The Toy­ota Corolla was a big seller last month

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