RPT-Australia new vehicle sales bounce sharply in June-VFACTS

Wed Jul 2, 2014 11:18pm EDT

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SYDNEY, July 3 (Reuters) - Sales of new vehicles in Australia rebounded strongly in June as demand for sports utilities remained red hot, a potential sign that consumer demand improved after a soft patch in May.

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report showed sales of 118,309 - up 25.2 percent on May.

June is typically a strong month as dealers cut prices for the end of the Australian financial year, but even after adjusting for those seasonal factors sales were still up a healthy 7.3 percent.

The June total was down 0.4 percent on the same month last year, an improvement from May's decline of 2.3 percent.

In the year to date, sales were running 2.4 percent behind the same period in 2013, but pointed to a solid annual pace of 1.125 million vehicles.

Demand for sports utility vehicles remained strong with sales up 7.1 percent in June from the same month a year ago. That was a marked contrast to sales of passenger vehicles which fell 6.6 percent.

Sales of light commercial vehicles picked up by 4.2 percent, while those of heavy vehicles dipped 3.2 percent.

For June alone, Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with a slightly reduced market share of 17.6 percent.

The local Holden unit of General Motors Co followed with 10.4 percent, while Hyundai Motor Co again held third place with 8.5 percent.

Mazda Motor Corp took 7.9 percent and Ford Motor Co 7.4 percent.

Details of the VFACTS report in original terms:

Jun May m/m pct May/13 y/y pct

Sales 118,309 94,562 +25.1 118,758 -0.4

Sales by Type: Jun '14/Jun '13 Volumes

Change Pct Change

Passenger Vehicles -3,792 -6.6

Sports Utility +2,448 +7.1

Light Commercial +996 +4.2

Heavy Commercial -101 -3.2

(Reporting by Wayne Cole)

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