SYDNEY, March 18 Sales of new motor vehicles in
Australia were flat in February, from January, but were still
the best ever for that month and up strongly on February last
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on
Monday showed new vehicle sales were unchanged in February at a
seasonally adjusted 95,708. That followed an upwardly revised
2.2 percent dip in January.
Sales were still up 9.4 percent on February last year.
Sales of sports utility vehicles slowed after a couple of
very strong months, to rise by 0.3 percent in February. Yet they
remained 19 percent higher than the same month last year.
All the weakness was again concentrated in passenger vehicles
where sales dropped 1.0 percent in February, while sales of
other vehicles, including trucks, rose 1.7 percent.
Industry data out earlier this month showed were up 5.2
percent in February from a year earlier, with sales of
commercial and sport utility vehicles staying brisk.
For February, Toyota retained first place on the
sales ladder with a share of 17.8 percent. Mazda held
second spot with 9.7 percent, while Nissan nabbed third
with 9.1 percent.
It is very rare for Japanese carmakers to hold all top three
places in a month.
The Holden unit of General Motors dropped back to
fourth with 8.5 percent, followed by Hyundai at 8.3
percent. Ford made a poor showing with 7.3 percent of the