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Motor vehicle sales down 3.2%

NEW motor vehicle registrations fell by 3.2 per cent in April to be down 10.6 per cent in annual terms according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Passenger car sales were down 12.5 per cent in annual terms while the sale of commercial vehicles remained unaffected.

This is thought to be because businesses had not delayed buying decisions until after the introduction of the GST.

WA sales were hit even harder, falling by 19 per cent during the year to 30 April.

Westpac economist Justin McCarthy said that, with the GST drawing closer, the merits of deferring vehicle purchases were becoming more evident.

“The months of May and June are likely to be extremely weak for new motor vehicle sales,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Our forecast is for new motor vehicle registrations to fall by at least 20 per cent in the June quarter.”

Holden continued to dominate the domestic car sales market, recording sales of 8,395 units during April, followed by Toyota with 7,247 new car sales.

Ford recorded 5,561 sales, Mitsubishi 3,748, Hyundai had 3,237 new car sales and Nissan 2,307 sales during April.

The Holden Commodore and Calais were the biggest selling models with almost 6,000 sold during April.

This was followed by Ford’s Falcon and Fairmont with 3,941 sales, the Toyota Camry and Vienta with 2,396 sales and the Hyundai Excel with 2,000 sales for the month.

Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said it cannot guarantee that fuel prices will not rise after the GST comes in.

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