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Its the end of another month, and that means all the car companies that have done well are willing to part with their statistics. In general The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report shows that sales in the Small passenger car segment have infact fallen by 1.8 per cent in September compared to a year-to-date increase of 2.4 per cent.

The Light Car Segment which was seen as spearheading the car sales has grown only by 1.8 per cent in September – much lower than the rise of 20.1 per cent for the year to date. At the same time, the introduction of the new generation Camry and Commodore have revived the large passenger car sales. The segment was down 7.1 per cent compared to the same month last year but this was nevertheless a significant improvement on the year-to-date fall 21.3 per cent.

Sales of the new Holden VE Commodore were up 8.5 per cent on September 2005 with the introduction of the new model. Honda also did well with the Accord sales going strong with a 7.6 per cent increase following the release of an updated model. The accord show continue todo well with the new Honda Accord Special Edition.

The release of new models is beginning to improve the fortunes of the Large car segment and we expect that trend to strengthen when Toyota launches its new Aurion family sedan later this month,” said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.

“It’s also notable that Medium car segment sales rose a significant 11.5 per cent last month, driven by sales of a number of new models including Subaru Liberty, Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Camry.

“While fuel prices clearly remain a market driver, Australians have not fallen out of love with larger cars and the launch of several new models is giving them a reason to look again at large and medium segments.”

“Consumer concern may also have been eased somewhat by the recent falls in crude oil prices which are now being reflected at the pump.”

The magic 1,000,000 vehicle mark is not going to happen this year as sales are down by 29,660 vehicles or 3.6 per cent on year to date 2005. 2005 was the best year for the Australian car industry with 988,269 motor vehicles were sold. Mr Sturrock said the FCAI has revised its sales forecast for the year downwards from 980,000 to 970,000.

While we expect fourth-quarter sales to be strong, it’s clear that four years of record sales have, for the moment, come to an end,” said Mr Sturrock.

“It’s important to remember, however, that only five years ago motor vehicle sales were averaging about 780,000 per annum, so you could say that the Australian market has permanently shifted into a higher gear.”

Below are individual reports from car companies that have done well in September.

Audi

In September, German luxury carmaker, Audi, hit an all-time sales high in Australia with 520 units retailed. This is the first time that Audi has exceeded 500 units, a 30 percent increase on the company’s September 2005 result. Managing director, Joerg Hofmann, says the new Audi Q7 is a clear winner in the September result with 173 cars being delivered to customers during the month.

The new Audi Q7 SUV has just been launched, with the occasion marked by our 7,000km Trans-Continental Crossing event. Sales of the Q7 are strong, with 173 units delivered to customers in the last two weeks of September, following its national market introduction,” Mr Hofmann said.

“The Trans-Continental Crossing proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the new Q7 is an excellent vehicle, both in terms of build quality, endurance and performance. We look forward to continuing a high level of sales in Australia with this vehicle.”

Cumulatively, the Audi brand is now 14 percent ahead of its YTD September 2005 result and Hofmann is confident that the final quarter of the year will be a strong one for Audi, with a host of new sports models including the new TT, S6 and S8 being introduced before the end of the year.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz passenger car and SUV sales rose 7.7 per cent through the month of September. The luxury car manufacturer saw sales of its passenger car and SUV range in Australia reach a year-to-date total of 10,577 units at the end of September, up from 9,815 units the same time last year.

Managing Director of Mercedes Car Group in Australia, Horst von Sanden, says the attraction of the Mercedes-Benz range is still proving too tempting to Australian buyers.

“We’re delighted with the demand we are experiencing with our model range. The sales performance of new models such as the M-Class SUV and range-leading S-Class saloon shows the strong popularity of our cars throughout Australia.”

Stand-out performances so far this year can be found with the B-Class Sports Tourer, the M-Class SUV and the range-topping S-Class luxury saloon, which currently holds a staggering 48.5 per cent year-to-date market share in its segment.

We are on track with our annual objectives and expect to close the year with a strong finish”, added von Sanden.

“With the release of the all-new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV next month, and the recent launch of the new-generation E-Class saloon, our horizon looks very promising.”

Next year will be even more exciting for the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, with the arrival of stunning new models such as the all-new CL Coupé, launched last week to the World’s motoring press in Europe, and the new C-Class saloon.

2006 is shaping up as a great year for Mercedes-Benz in Australia, and the attractive product catalogue heading our way will only continue this success well into 2007”, concluded von Sanden.

Subaru

Subaru achieved its best ever September with sales of 3350 vehicles according to official VFACTS figures released today. Up 29 per cent on the previous September and 2.8 per cent year to date, sales were boosted by the introduction of Model Year 2007 Liberty and Outback ranges.

This resulted in an impressive 4.2 per cent market share for the month and 3.9 per cent year to date. September records were surpassed across the range. Liberty achieved 832 sales representing a massive 56 per cent increase on the same period last year. Outback sales were up 27.6 per cent at 717. Adding strong Forester sales of 924, Subaru again dominated the SUV Compact segment with 25.9 per cent share.

Rounding out the total was Impreza with 877 sales, 54.7 per cent up on September 2005.

Toyota

Toyota has increased its imposing sales lead in the automotive market during the month of September, largely thanks to the new generation Camry. According to results published by industry statistician VFACTS, the locally manufactured four cylinder sedan was a star performer for Toyota in its first full month on sale.

The company sold 2845 Camrys – the vehicle’s best September figure since 1988.

Toyota’s total of 17,183 vehicle sales for the month is the marque’s second best September ever and takes it to a combined vehicle sales figure of 157,364 for the year to date. After three quarters of the calendar year in 2005, Toyota was leading the second placed manufacturer by 17,862 – at the same point in 2006 the gap is a staggering 47,999.

Toyota is the only local manufacturer to show an increase for year-to-date sales in 2006.

The fuel efficiency and low running costs of the current range of Toyota passenger vehicles is really standing out in today’s marketplace,” said David Buttner, Toyota Australia’s senior executive director of sales and marketing.

“The introduction of new Camry has proved to be a huge success – customers are enthusiastic about its improved looks and dynamic ability.

“The upcoming new Aurion V6 will provide a real alternative to the large car establishment with its combination of 200kW power and class-leading 6 cylinder fuel efficiency.

“When Aurion arrives, Toyota will have the equivalent of an automotive ‘one stop shop’ – whatever vehicle segment you are shopping in, Toyota will have a top class competitor.”

The RAV4 compact SUV is having its best year ever with 1207 sales in September (its best ever September) propelling it to a total of 11,612 so far in 2006 – compared to 9,339 over the same period last year.

Corolla was a standout performer yet again, recording the second-highest number of vehicle sales for any model over the month – its 3852 sales ensuring the small car favourite remains on track for its best ever year.

Both the Avensis people mover and the HiAce van also had their best ever September sales – HiAce a whopping 28.8 per cent higher than the same month in 2005 with 666 sales.






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