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SUV sales soar despite fuel costs

Soaring fuel prices have certainly forced buyers to reconsider their priorities when looking at a new car; however Toyota has labelled the small car dash a simplistic approach to the problem.
SUV sales soar despite fuel costs
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The company's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner has said that these generalisations ignore the strong growth in sales of sports-utility vehicles (SUV).

The sales of these SUV's has increased by 13.2 percent for this year alone - making it the fastest growing segment at a rate of more than treble the overall market.

"Rising fuel prices have definitely accelerated demand for fuel-efficient four-cylinder cars," Mr Buttner said. "However, families and other SUV buyers are focused on requirements such as space, comfort, performance and reliability - as well as fuel efficiency,"

Australian motorists purchased almost 110,000 SUV's in the first half of this year - with 20 out of 23 manufacturers improving over the same period last year - second only to the small-car total of 123,000.

Toyota leads this sales list with its Prado, Kluger and RAV4 models which take the top three positions in a segment which offers over 50 models.

SUV SALES BY MODEL 2008 (TO 30 JUNE)

1. Toyota Prado7,854+4.8%

2. Toyota Kluger7,513+278.7%

3. Toyota RAV47,684+6.7%

4. Ford Territory7,266-19.4%

5. Subaru Forester6,910+13.2%

6. Toyota LandCruiser6,407+48.0%

SUV SALES BY MARQUE 2008 (TO 30 JUNE)

MARQUESALES+/-MARKET SHARE

1. Toyota29,458+40.2%26.9%

2. Nissan10,852+0.2%9.9%

3. Subaru10,707+6.2%9.8%

4. Ford8,417-20.2%7.7%

5. Mitsubishi7,841+0.7%7.1%

SEGMENT109,669+13.2%