Car sales hit record levels

 

Despite four straight months of falls, car sales have hit record levels. Australians purchased 1.13 million cars in the year to April.

As AAP reports, CommSec chief economist Craig James said that there was a very strong result in 2012 and the 1.6 per cent fall in sales in the month of April can be seen as a consolidation.

"Car sales basically are more consolidating near record highs," James said.

"While they have fallen for four straight months, they're still higher than a year ago and the fact is … car affordability is the best since the 1970s."

The result comes as the nation debates the viability of Australian automotive manufacturing. There is disagreement about whether assistance given to the industry by governments is money well spent.

For just the second time in 35 years, the Holden Commodore failed to make the shortlist of the top 10 bestsellers in April.

However, according to James, this may be because fleet buyers are delaying purchases until the updated VF model Commodore is released.

"Clearly, you've got a new model which is coming up. That could be one factor,” he said.

"The vagaries of model releases can influence sales results, along with price changes, discounting."

318,039 four-wheel-drive vehicles were sold during the year.

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