SYDNEY, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Australian new vehicle sales recorded a third straight month of record sales in July, a hopeful sign for spending across the economy given consumers were confident enough to splash out on big ticket items.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report out on Thursday showed 92,754 new vehicles were sold in July, up 1.6 percent on the same month last year. Both months had the same number of selling days.
That was the highest total for a July month on record. Sales for the year to date were running at 692,306, up 0.4 percent on the same period of 2016.
Sales of sports utilities alone jumped 9.4 percent in July, with the small and medium segment in demand. Sales of light commercial vehicles edged up 0.8 percent after a run of very strong months, while the heavy vehicle market gained 14.5 percent.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with 19.3 percent of the market, while Mazda Motor Corp had another upbeat month taking 10.3 percent.
Hyundai Motor took third spot with 8.1 percent. The Holden unit of General Motors followed with 7.0 percent, ahead of Ford at 6.8 percent. (Reporting by Wayne Cole)