NEW VEHICLE MARKET ENDS STRONG YEAR WITH RECORD DECEMBER

6th January, 2010

The new vehicle market ended the year strongly to record annual sales that well exceeded industry forecasts with many of the additional sales attributed to the Federal Government's business tax break.

Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 937,328 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in the calendar year 2009 (down 7.4 per cent compared to 2008).

The year ended strongly with a record number of vehicles sold in the month of December (up 15.9% on 2008).

"Given all the challenges and uncertainties thrown at the industry by the global economy this is an exceptional result," FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

"The ‘game changing' measure that restored confidence in the marketplace and stimulated additional demand was the bonus tax break for business," Mr McKellar said.

"The final outcome for the year has surpassed the industry's original expectations by some 57,000 vehicles and a significant proportion of this additional volume can be attributed to the tax break," he said.

Looking ahead, the FCAI forecasts that new vehicle sales in 2010 will exceed 940,000.
"The challenges of the past year have not yet fully passed so 2010 will be a year of consolidation for the industry," Mr McKellar said.

One note of caution influencing the industry outlook relates to interest rates.
"There is a real risk that if market lending rates are further increased, excessively, the momentum of the economic recovery now underway could be damaged," he said.

Toyota was the best performing brand in 2009 for the seventh year in a row with a market share of 21.4%, ahead of Holden with 12.8% and Ford with 10.3%

The most popular vehicle model, for the fourteenth year in a row, was the Holden Commodore; ahead of the Toyota Corolla then the Toyota Hilux.

Top Ten Models

1Holden Commodore44,387
2Toyota Corolla39,013
3Toyota Hilux (4x4 and 4x2 combined)38,457
4Mazda335,298
5Ford Falcon31,023
6Hyundai i3021,414
7Mitsubishi Lancer21,362
8Toyota Camry20,846
9Hyundai Getz19,643
10Toyota Yaris19,447

Top Ten Brands

1Toyota200,991
2Holden119,568
3Ford96,501
4Mazda77,739
5Hyundai63,207
6Mitsubishi56,998
7Nissan52,901
8Honda41,443
9Subaru36,506
10Volkswagen30,087

For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555
E: sheena.ireland@fcai.com.au