3 blue-chip dividend shares to drive your portfolio higher in 2016

Credit: NRMA Motoring and Services

According to fresh data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Australians are buying more cars than ever before. Not only that, the cars are getting more luxurious.

In 2015, Australians bought 1.15 million new cars, 3.8% more than last year and 1.6% more than the record setting year of 2013. The Toyota Corolla was again the most popular, but sales of Audi, BMW and Mercedes jumped 20%, 10% and 14%, respectively, year over year.

Low-interest rates and affordability are each playing their part in driving sales through the roof.

Source: ABS

Source: ABS

How you can benefit

Three companies directly exposed to rising vehicle sales are Carsales.Com Ltd (ASX: CAR), Automotive Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AHG) and AP Eagers Ltd (ASX: APE).

Unsurprisingly, shares in all three companies have provided outperformance for investors over the long-term.

Source: Google Finance

Source: Google Finance

AP Eagers is Australia’s oldest listed automotive group, selling eight of the top nine luxury car brands (27 in total), as well as 11 truck and bus brands.

Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) is Australia’s largest automotive retailer, and a diversified logistics specialist. AHG is 19.87% owned by AP Eagers.

Finally, Carsales.Com is a name synonymous with retail car sales in Australia. It also has key interests in promising overseas businesses and complimentary automotive accessories sites providing scope for long-term growth.

Buy, Hold or Sell?

While the tailwinds of rising new vehicles sales, low-interest rates and increasing affordability may not be linear, they have provided a foothold for AHG, AP Eagers and Carsales to leverage further growth in the years ahead, in my opinion. More research is needed, but with generous dividends to boot, all three companies deserve a spot on savvy long-term investors’ watch lists.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Carsales.Com. 

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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