New vehicle sales surge
New vehicle sales recorded one of the strongest January months on record, with the pent up demand seen in 2012 spilling over into the New Year.
According Motor Industry Association figures, 9293 new vehicles were registered in the month, up 7 per cent on January 2012.
"This is a very encouraging result and builds on a very successful 2012," said MIA chief executive Perry Kerr. New vehicle registrations rose 19 per cent in the 12-months to December 31.
Commercial vehicles registrations saw the biggest gains in the month, up 61.4 per cent to 1908 compared to a year ago.
The gain comes from a low base due the Thailand floods a year ago which kept supplies commercial vehicle tight. Even so it is still the highest monthly commercial sales figure since 1982.
January is typically a month when many businesses replace their fleets, which could also account for some of the momentum.
Passenger car registrations slipped 1.5 per cent in the month to 7385, but Kerr noted it was only the fourth time since 1975 that sales in a January month exceeded 7,000 units.
Toyota was the market leader, taking 20.8 per cent of total registrations, three quarters of which were for passenger vehicles. That was followed by Holden, with 12.3 per cent, and Hyundai with 9.3 per cent.
In the commercial segment Ford was second, followed by Nissan.
The top selling model for the month was the Toyota Corolla, followed by the Holden Cruze and the Suzuki Swift.
In the commercial segment the Toyota Hilux took top spot, followed by the Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger.