SYDNEY, June 5 (Reuters) - Australian new vehicle sales rebounded in May to reach a record high for that month, a promising omen for consumer demand after a run of soft results.
The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report out on Monday showed 102,901 new vehicles were sold in May, up 6.4 percent on the same month last year. May this year had one more selling day than in 2016.
The report noted business purchases of sport utilities climbed 14.9 percent in May, while light commercial purchases by government rose 31.7 percent. Sales to rental fleets also returned strongly during May.
Overall, sales of SUVs were up 9.4 percent on May last year well ahead of the passenger vehicle gain of 1.6 percent. Sales of light commercial vehicles jumped 9.4 percent, while sales in the heavy vehicle market rose 13.6 percent.
Toyota Motor Corp retained first place on the sales ladder with 19.3 percent of the market, while Mazda Motor Corp had another strong month taking 9.6 percent.
Hyundai Motor took third spot with 8.1 percent, ahead of Ford on 7.4 percent. The Holden unit of General Motors trailed with 6.7 percent. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)