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Despite continuing increases in national sales of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and market leader Toyota Hilux, the overall vehicle market in Australia declined over the past month of September.

According to the latest data released today by the motor industry’s statistical service VFACTS, national vehicle sales for September reached 94,711, down 5.5 per cent from September 2017.

Significantly, overall passenger car sales at 30,487 in September 2018 now account for just under one third of the total market, at 32.2 per cent.

Despite the September fall in passenger car sales, SUV sales climbed 6.2 per cent to 41,420, underpinned by a significant gain in small SUVs of 25.7 per cent. Furthermore, there was also considerable growth in the sale of upper large SUVs, which rose by 10.4 per cent in September.

During the month light commercial sales fell by 2.3 per cent to 19,298 despite this category once again taking out the two top selling models.

Government fleet sales also saw a smaller decline of 2.6 per cent, however business fleet purchases remained buoyant, up marginally by 0.3 per cent.

Tony Weber, the Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, acknowledged that the results demonstrate an adjustment to the market after a sustained period of record sales.

“What we are seeing is a slightly slowing market, after the industry has produced five years of record sales over the past six years” Mr Weber said.

“After a record 2017, year to date sales in 2018 are sitting just 0.9 per cent below last year’s numbers.

“This demonstrates the inherent strength of the market. The decline in passenger vehicle sales and corresponding growth in SUVs also shows that the traditional family car continues to evolve in Australia.”

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s best-selling vehicle during August with total sales of 4,338, followed by the Ford Ranger with 3,228 and the Toyota Corolla with 2,917.

The Hyundai i30 (2,508), and the Mitsubishi ASX (2,138) both moved up the list from August to round out the top five.

Toyota again led with an 18.4 per cent share of the September market, followed by Hyundai (8.6%), Mitsubishi (8.0%), Mazda (7.5%) and Nissan (5.5%).

VFACTS monthly vehicle sales data is available at noon on the 3rd working day after the end of every month. Select data and media releases on the sales results are available at