Four-wheel drives are supposed to be good at climbing - and they're doing just that, hitting a record high as a share of total vehicles sold in May.
Sales of sports-utility vehicles (SUVs), which include four-wheel drives and similar vehicles with off-road capability, rose 3.0 per cent in May, after adjusting for regular seasonal variations, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said on Monday.
Sales of other passenger vehicles, which includes non-offroad all-wheel drives such as family sedans, rose 2.3 per cent.
And sales of other vehicles, which includes utilities, light commercial vehicles and trucks, rose 2.1 per cent.
It was much the same pattern as seen in the year to May, a 55 per cent rise in SUV sales outstripped the 12 per cent rise in sales of other passenger vehicles and the 16 per cent rise in the non-passenger category.
As a proportion of total sales, SUVs hit an all-time high of 27.7 per cent in May, compared with 21.9 per cent 12 months before and 9.4 per cent 15 years earlier in May 1997.
As a proportion of passenger vehicle sales, SUVs have rise to 34.7 per cent, also a record, compared with 27.7 per cent a year before and 11.1 per cent in May 1997.
And there appears to be no sign of the shift in preferences, with the bureau's trend measure showing the SUV share of sales rising at nearly two percentage points a year.
At that rate, 67 years from now all passenger vehicles sold will be SUVs.
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