2007 may be the magical 1,000,000 vehicles sold year. Perhaps this year really is it, the industry has been waiting for a year like this for decades, and the news?
So far so good! Toyota unsurprisingly was again the strongest seller in April with over 16,000 vehicles.
Official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 75,614 cars, trucks and buses were sold in April – up 6964 or 10.1 per cent on the same month last year.
This is great news as current year to date figures show the car market is up 9.0 per cent on the first four months of 2006 and up 5.5 per cent on the same period in the record year of 2005 (which was the best year on record).
“On the present bullish sales trends it is very likely that by the end of 2007 we will reach one million annual motor vehicle sales for the first time ever,” said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.
Previously, Mr Sturrock has been a little unwilling to admit we will reach the one million mark this year, but with figures as strong as these, a change of attitude is evident.
The Large passenger car segment was up 15.1 per cent in April and is now up 4.5 per cent for the year to date – this is helped along by the Toyota Aurion and the VE Commodore, the all new 2008 Falcon will help this sector grow even more come next year.
In the Medium segment, Australian-built Toyota Camry sales were up 57.0 per cent last month and 32.1 per cent year-to-date thanks mainly to the introduction of a new model.
“As we forecast, the new generation of Australian models launched by Holden and Toyota have gained momentum and are selling very well – which should give great heart to the local car industry,” said Peter Sturrock.
Mitsubishi’s struggling 380 has been slowly gaining some ground but with stiff competition from Toyota, the Adeliade manufacturer is still struggling. However, that is not to say the large family car market is in trouble
“There is plenty of evidence in the sales statistics that there is still a significant market for larger vehicles in Australia.”
Mr Sturrock gave as an example the four-wheel-drive Pick-up segment, sales of which were up 25.8 per cent last month and 29.0 per cent for the year so far. Sales in the SUV Compact segment boomed in by 45.3 per cent in April on the back of new model launches.
Elsewhere, the growth of Light car sales continued last month (up 15.2 per cent) but the larger Small segment softened by 6.7 per cent.
Interestingly, 5 of the top 10 best selling cars in Australia are all from Toyota! In April Toyota sold 2999 HiLuxs, 2325 Yaris, 2202 Corollas, 1975 Camrys and 1715 Aurions.