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by Tim Beissmann

The second-highest April result on record has pushed new vehicle sales figures more than 20 percent ahead of the same time last year and has kept Australia within striking distance of the magic million mark.

Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 81,401 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in April, up 27.3 percent (17,436 vehicles) on the same month in 2009.

The Toyota Hilux dethroned the Commodore as the highest selling new vehicle, recording 3419 sales (1271 Hilux 4×2 and 2148 Hilux 4×4) compared to the Holden’s 3165.

The Mazda3 was the only other vehicle to break 3000, with the Corolla and the Falcon making up the top five.

Top 10 sales by model:

  1. Toyota Hilux – 3419
  2. Holden Commodore – 3165
  3. Mazda3 – 3079
  4. Toyota Corolla – 2829
  5. Ford Falcon – 2763
  6. Holden Cruze – 2514
  7. Hyundai i30 – 2483
  8. Hyundai Getz – 2192
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer – 1912
  10. Toyota Yaris – 1799

Toyota maintained its dominant position as the highest selling new vehicle brand with a 20.5 percent of the market ahead of Holden (12.2 percent) and Ford (10.1 percent).

Top 10 sales by marque:

  1. Toyota – 16,697
  2. Holden – 9964
  3. Ford – 8192
  4. Mazda – 6805
  5. Hyundai – 6725
  6. Mitsubishi – 4805
  7. Nissan – 4660
  8. Subaru – 3216
  9. Honda – 3063
  10. Volkswagen – 2846

Full sales figures and segment winners can he seen here.

FCAI Chief Executive, Andrew McKellar, said the strong result across a broad range of vehicle segments was an encouraging sign of healthy competition but stressed that the Australian automotive industry still faced significant challenges.

“It has to be expected that recent interest rate increases will have some dampening effect on demand over coming months.

“However, the industry is hopeful that interest rates must now be at a level where further increases will be more difficult to justify,” Mr McKellar said.

SUVs are leading the charge over last year’s results, with 18,067 April sales 38 percent above the same month last year. Passenger cars also performed solidly, their 47,156 units more than 10,000 ahead of April 2009.

The most improved segment was the People Movers which was up 51.5 percent for April (1159 vs 765) and is 38.4 percent ahead of 2009 year-to-date (4199 vs 3035).

The Kia Carnival continues to lead the way with 1164 sales after the first four months, however, the Hyundai iMax is the bolter of the pack. The Hyundai pipped the Kia for volume in April (277 vs 257), taking its year-to-date sales increase to an impressive 268 percent.

Medium SUVs are also up 39.7 percent for the first four months of 2009 on the back of strengthening sales of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Toyota Prado and Holden Captiva.

Light and small cars continue to dominate passenger sales, accounting for 64 percent of the market.

A bumper April for the Getz pushed it ahead of the Yaris into the light car lead for the year to date (7672 vs 7378), while the Mazda3 stretched its lead in the small car segment, holding a 17.5 percent market share for the first four months.

The Camry Hybrid had another solid month (396), finishing fourth in the sub-$60,000 medium segment behind the standard Camry (1434), Mazda6 (736) and the Subaru Liberty (547).

Ford sold more locally manufactured vehicles than Holden and Toyota (4642 vs 4139 vs 2854), but Holden still holds the lead year to date with 18,916 units (up 12.7 percent on 2009) compared with Ford’s 16,694 (up 17.1 percent) and Toyota’s 10,954 (up 22.8 percent).

The largest proportion of our vehicles came from Japan (28,355), followed by Korea (13,607, up 76.4 percent on April 2009) and Thailand (12,392).




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