September 5, 2017 / 2:20 AM / 10 months ago

Australia new vehicle sales reach record for August: report

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian new vehicle market enjoyed a fourth straight month of record sales in August, a sign consumer spending was holding up across the economy despite sluggish wage growth.

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report out on Tuesday showed 96,662 new vehicles were sold in August, up 1.8 percent on the same month last year. Both months had the same number of selling days.

That was the highest total for an August month on record. Sales for the year to date were running at 788,968, up 0.6 percent on the same period of 2016.

Sales of sports utilities climbed 4.7 percent in August, extending their blistering run. Those gains have come at the expense of the passenger car sector, which dropped 8.2 percent in the month.

In a promising omen for business investment, sales of light commercial vehicles jumped 16.7 percent in August, with sales of heavy vehicles up 16 percent.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) retained first place on the sales ladder with 19.2 percent of the market, while Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) taking 8.8 percent.

Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) took third spot with 8.1 percent. The Holden unit of General Motors (GM.N) followed with 7.2 percent, ahead of Ford (F.N) at 6.9 percent.

Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Sam Holmes

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