Who said the car industry has slowed down? Despite the somewhat higher fuel prices, more cars are being sold than ever. 2005 has so far been the best year for the Australian car industry, nonetheless, in the first quarter of 2007, 255,068 vehicles have found new owners. An increase of 20,463 or 8.7 per cent from 2006 and 25,000 more vehicles than 2005.
“By any measure it’s a remarkably strong start to the year and one that has probably taken even the optimists in our industry slightly by surprise,” said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.
“Consumers appear to have shaken off any lingering concerns about fuel prices and interest rates and have responded enthusiastically to the intensely competitive prices being offered in dealerships.”
The FCAI is estimating a sales total of 970,000 for 2007. Perhaps a little careful in going towards the magical 1,000,000 vehicle mark. The most important fact from the figures shows that sales growth was being experienced in almost every segment of the market, large as well as small.
family cars in the Large passenger vehicle segment grew by 4.7 per cent last month compared to March 2006 helped considerably by the VE Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion.
“The strong domestic sales of Australian-made Holdens and Toyotas is a welcome addition to the export growth those car makers are achieving,” said Peter Sturrock.
Despite the success of large cars, the trend towards small passenger cars is more than evident. As the fastest-growing of all sales segments, sales increase by 8532 vehicles or 16.7 per cent compared to last year. Light car sales grew by 3334 or 11.9 per cent, SUV Compact by 2851 or 22.2 per cent and SUV Medium by 1617 or 4.7 per cent.
Sales in the Pick-up/Cab-chassis 4×4 segment grew by 4614 or 30.0 per cent in the first quarter.
“Australians still have a desire and practical need for bigger vehicles and the rebound in SUV sales and 4×4 pick-up sales reflects that,” said Peter Sturrock.
Best selling brands so far this year :
Toyota was Australia’s most popular brand in March with 21,390 sales ahead of Holden (13,454) and Ford (10,074). Toyota currently holds 22.0 per cent of the market, Holden is relatively far behind with 14.3 per cent and Ford comes in at 10.7 per cent.