The strong Australian dollar and competitive finance deals have contributed to a surge in sales of new motor vehicles.
Australian sales of new motor vehicles in September were up 4.7 per cent from August, to a record monthly high of 98,701.
Commonwealth Bank economist Michael Workman said Western Australia was the clear outperformer, with new car sales up 19.3 per cent from a year ago.
"The confluence of falling real prices for new cars, courtesy of the high Australian Dollar, lower finance costs and consumers keen to spend outside of traditional retail areas is good news for car sales, especially for car importers," Mr Workman said.
New vehicle sales in September were up 14.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, from the same month in 2011, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on Monday.
Total new car sales in 2012 look set to be over one million for the third consecutive year.
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) were the strongest growth segment with sales up 21 per cent on a year ago, while passenger sales were up three per cent and commercials up nine per cent.
National Australia Bank economist David de Garis said passenger vehicles had shown more resilience in the past two months after having been very volatile for the best part of a year.
"That's also consistent with the consumer sentiment survey showing more buying interest, interest that's tweaked up even a little further in this month's consumer sentiment survey," he said.