May 16, 2017 / 1:45 AM / 2 months ago

Australia new vehicle sales up 0.3 pct m/m in April

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SYDNEY, May 16 (Reuters) - Australian sales of new vehicles edged higher in April, slowing from the previous month as the timing of holidays reduced the selling days for the month and demand for sports utilities fell.

Tuesday's data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed national sales rose 0.3 percent in April from March, when they increased by 1.9 percent. Sales of 97,136 vehicles were up 0.1 percent on April last year.

April this year had two fewer selling days compared with a year ago, owing to Easter and Anzac Day public holidays, while a school break also fell during the month.

Sales of sports utilities fell 2.8 percent month-on-month, after rising 3 percent in March, while passenger vehicle sales rose 2.1 percent. Sales of other vehicles, including trucks, rose 2.8 percent on-month.

Earlier in May, the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report also showed a sharp rise in 4x4 vehicle sales for April.

According to VFACTS, Toyota Motor Corp retained first-place on the sales ladder, with 19.4 percent of the market. Mazda Motor Corp was second with 10.4 per cent, followed by Hyundai Motor Co with 8.2 per cent.

The Holden unit of General Motors and Ford each held 7 percent. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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