Consumer confidence may be low but Australians are buying cars at record levels.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) said on Tuesday that a record 96,069 vehicles were sold in May, an increase of 24.1 per cent, or 18,668, from the previous corresponding month in 2011.
However, May 2011 sales were affected by supply problems from Japan and Thailand.
For the year to May, 435,288 cars had been sold, an 8.8 per cent increase on sales for the previous corresponding period.
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) appear to be particularly popular, with sales increasing by 56.6 per cent in May, or by 9,705, compared with May last year.
Within that category, large SUVs sales rose 85 per and small SUVs were up 77.2 per cent.
Sales of all locally manufactured vehicles were up 11 per cent on May 2011.
The most popular new car overall was the Toyota HiLux, with 4,626 sales.
Toyota was the most popular brand in May selling 20,443 vehicles, followed by Holden with 9,017 and Mazda with 8,346.from world news.