Australia new vehicle sales steady in Nov, up on year

SYDNEY Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:45pm EST

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SYDNEY Dec 13 (Reuters) - Sales of new motor vehicles in Australia were flat in November as the nation's love affair with sports utilities finally began to cool, though total sales were still the second highest on record and well up on the same month last year.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Thursday showed new vehicle sales edged up marginally to a seasonally adjusted 95,748 in November, from 95,717 the month before. Sales were up a hefty 9.7 percent compared to November last year.

Sales of sports utility vehicles fell 5.4 percent to 24,857, a slowdown from a frantic pace of growth earlier in the year. Sales remained 5.9 percent higher than in November 2011.

Sales of passenger vehicles rose 2.8 percent in November, while sales of other vehicles, including trucks, edged up by 0.5 percent.

Industry data out earlier in the month showed new vehicle sales up 10.9 percent compared to November last year. Toyota retained top spot on the sales ladder that month with 19.6 percent of the market.

The Holden unit of General Motors held second spot with 10.5 percent, while Mazda seized third with 8.9 percent. Ford dropped back a place with 8.7 percent, while Hyundai took 7.9 percent.

with 19.4 percent of the market in October.

The Holden unit of General Motors GM.N regained second spot with 10.7 percent, while Ford F.N recovered to 8.8 percent. Mazda 7261.T eased to fourth with 8.1 percent, while Hyundai 005380.KS took fifth spot with 7.9 percent.

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