Despite the rising cost of petrol and recent rises in interest rates, official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that a total of 84,061 cars, trucks and buses were sold in April, a 11.2 per cent increase on the same month last year.
So far 2008 looks to be another record year with year-to-date records showing the car market is up by 5.1 per cent over the same period last year.
The increase in car purchases has come from the business sector, with sales increasing 12.6 per cent so far this year. Private buyers are about the same, only up 0.6 per cent.
“While the April result was boosted by the early timing of Easter, which fell in March, the underlying sales trend remains notably strong and resilient,” said the chief executive of the FCAI, Andrew McKellar.
The FCAI is predicting another record year with over one million vehicle sales.
April saw buyers flock to small cars, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Light Trucks. the small car segment grew by 24 per cent (3603 vehicles) over April last year while the medium car segment went up by 11.4 per cent (755 cars) and the light car segment, helped by new additions like the Nissan Micra went up by 5.3 per cent.
The Light Truck market improved by 3077 or 22.6 per cent, so did the Pick-up/Cab-chassis (PU/CC) 4×4 (1403) and PU/CC 4×2 segments (922). The biggest increase came in the van segment with 686 vehicles sold, a 42.7 per cent increase.
Once again Toyota remained the top-selling brand in April with 24.8 per cent market share. Coming in second and third were Holden with 12.1 per cent and Ford with 9.8 per cent.
Year-to-date Toyota leads the sales race with 81,062 from Holden with 44,037 and Ford with 34,533.