WA motor sales falter to 8pc growth in March

THE strong growth of Western Australian motor vehicle sales faltered in March, dropping to 8 per cent after an outstanding period in 2006, which continued early this year with double-digit percentage growth. The February growth rate of 17.7 per cent compared with a national average growth rate of 9 per cent, with WA then leading the nation in year to date sales. In 2006, WA vehicle sales topped 100,000 for the second year running, growing by more than 10 per cent while nationally the trend was a drop of 2.6 per cent, the second highest on record after 2005. During March, the Australian Capital Territory continued its bumper season, with car sales up 13.6 per cent for the month, compared with the previous corresponding period, followed by Queensland with a 9.8 per cent rise and Victoria with 9.1 per cent. In WA, Toyota continued to monopolise the top of the sales league ladder, with year-to-date sales hitting 6,841, a more than 21 per cent increase on the previous corresponding month and 24.6 per cent for the year. And it was another bad month for Hyundai sales, which were down 26.4 per cent for the month to 1,988. Ford was better at 7.1 per cent growth for the year to date to 2,776 while Holden was down 4.1 per cent for the year to date to 3,980. Sales of top WA truck brand Isuzu climbed 9.7 per cent to 226 for the year-to-date, while Hino sales fell 11.5 per cent at 192 for the year to date. - Andrew Hobbs

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