The sale of new commercial vehicles surged in March to hit their highest levels since 1985, extending an upward trend for a fourth straight month.
Motor Industry Association figures show 2705 new commercial vehicles were registered in March, up 33.3 per cent on the same month a year ago.
Passenger vehicles showed more modest growth, with 6800 units sold last month, a gain of 4.6 per cent on last year. It still marked the third-strongest monthly passenger car sales figure since 1990.
"This result shows the new-vehicle market remains strong, consistent with levels of sales pre the global financial crisis," association chief executive David Crawford said.
"Commercial vehicle registrations continue to perform at levels last seen in the mid-1980s."
He said that while it was too early to project sales over the remainder of the year, new vehicle sales to date in 2013 had exceeded the same period last year. The industry chalked up more than 100,000 sales in 2012.
Toyota remained the market leader in March, accounting for 19.4 per cent of registrations (1202 passenger cars and 643 commercials).
Ford was second overall with 928 new vehicle registrations, and Holden third with 904.
Holden was second in the passenger car segment with 654 registrations, followed by Hyundai with 512.
The sport utility vehicle segment remained the most popular overall, accounting for 28.8 per cent of registrations, followed by the pickup-chassis cab segment, which accounted for 19 per cent of all registrations.