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by George Skentzos

As manufacturers around the globe announce yearly sales at record lows for 2008 in the wake of the economic downturn, Toyota Australia has instead defied global trends to set an all-time industry sales record.

Despite vehicle sales seemingly grinding to halt, Toyota Australia managed to deliver 238,983 vehicles – 2336 more than its previous record set in the boom sales year of 2007.

This figure is also a staggering 108,645 vehicles ahead of its nearest Australian rival GM Holden – the first time ever the gap has exceeded 100,000.

The global financial crisis did little to interrupt sales in the second half of 2008 despite uncertain times, Toyota senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the company and its vehicles had become increasingly relevant in Australia.

“Monthly average sales for Toyota in the second half were in excess of 18,590 compared with 19,900 for the year, indicating high levels of customer support.”

Toyota led the passenger-car, SUV and light-commercial vehicle categories, with both its Corolla and HiLux models becoming outright monthly market leaders for a cumulative four months.

The brand is set to launch several new models in 2009, and is in preparation for its 2010 launch of Australia’s first locally built hybrid car.




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