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Motor Industry Gears Up for End of Year sales Push

4 November 2005

Australian motor vehicle sales dropped slightly in October, interrupting a run of record monthly results that have pushed the market to new heights this year.

Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 76,118 motor vehicles were sold last month - a fall of 5549 or 6.8 per cent over the same month last year.

The market has set records in eight of the last 10 months and the year-to-date sales total is 825,465 - up 33,551 vehicles or 4.2 per cent over last year.

FCAI Chief Executive Peter Sturrock says the motor vehicle market is still headed for its fourth straight annual sales record, surpassing last year's total by a substantial margin.

"The slight downturn in the market last month could be the result of extensive media coverage about rising petrol prices affecting consumer confidence," said Mr Sturrock.

"Even though petrol prices have somewhat come back down, it's possible some consumers are waiting to see where prices settle before deciding what kind of motor vehicle they buy."

"The major car brands have all begun big retail pushes in the lead-up to Christmas, so we think we'll see the positive result of that in November and December's sales results."

Contrary to the general market dip last month, sales in the Small and Light passenger car segments were up.

Small cars rose 10.9 per cent compared to October 2004 while Light car sales increased 2.9 per cent.

For the year-to-date the Small car segment is up 30,424 vehicles or 20.4 per cent.

At the same time, despite higher petrol prices, sales of Medium Sports Utility Vehicles are up 22.3 per cent year-to-date and four-wheel-drive Pick-Ups have risen 6.5 per cent.

Topping the sales charts in October was Toyota with 15,045 or 19.8 per cent share of the market, ahead of Holden with 13,923 (18.3 per cent) and Ford with 9192 (12.1 per cent).

Mazda was fourth with 6001 (7.9 per cent) followed by Mitsubishi with 4752 (6.2 per cent).

On a year-to-date basis, Toyota is top seller with 166,548 sales, followed by Holden with 147,564.

For more information contact:
Peter Sturrock
Chief Executive

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