Last year this time the Australian automotive industry was suffering due to high petrol prices and a rise in interest rates. This year however, the price of petrol is far more stable and the Australian automotive industry has set an all-time record sales total for the month of February.
Official VFACTS retail figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that 83,740 motor vehicles were sold in February – an increase of 6,294 or 8.1 per cent on February last year, and higher than the previous record for the month of 81,141 set in 2005.
“The car industry has really jumped out the blocks this year thanks to the combined effects of new model activity and intense retail competition,” said the chief executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock.
The February result backs up record sales in January, meaning that for the year-to-date the market is running ahead of 2006 by 9.0 per cent or 13,227 vehicles.
“It’s clearly a buyer’s market at the moment and consumers seem to have put aside any concerns about interest rates they might have had and responded to the great deals on offer,” Mr Sturrock. said.
The sales increase is an overall increase with strong growth in large vehicle sales as well as small. Of course with the new Aurion & Camry (and soon Corolla) out and about, the medium and large car market has been doing quite well.
“This suggests that petrol prices may be of slightly less concern to car buyers than they were a few months ago,” he said.
The Sports Utility Market (SUV) was up 10.4 per cent on the same month last year with the volume growth in that market evenly split between SUV Medium and SUV Small segment models. For the second month in a row, sales in the Large car segment stabilised versus the same period of last year.
Another win for Holden, claiming the highest selling car (mostly due to fleet) as the Commodore was Australia’s best selling model in February with 5544 sales. Toyota’s new comer Aurion was also doing well with sales of 1817 – its best since launch last October.
“It is encouraging to local car markers to see buyers respond in large numbers to new Commodore and Aurion,” said Peter Sturrock.
Holden might have the best selling car, but Toyota, as always, sells more cars than Holden.