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Boom Month Pushes Car Market Towards Magic Million

FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock said that, on the present bullish sales trends, it was very likely that by the end of 2007 the Australian market would reach one million annual motor vehicle sales for the first time ever.

Australian motor vehicle sales are on course towards a new all-time sales record following another strong result in April.

Official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 75,614 cars, trucks and buses were sold in April - up 6964 or 10.1 per cent on the same month last year.

So far this year the car market is up 9.0 per cent on the first four months of 2006 and up 5.5 per cent on the same period in the record year of 2005.

"On the present bullish sales trends it is very likely that by the end of 2007 we will reach one million annual motor vehicle sales for the first time ever," said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.

Mr Sturrock said sales of locally made cars in April were particularly encouraging.

The Large passenger car segment was up 15.1 per cent in April and is now up 4.5 per cent for the year to date.

The Upper Large segment, which includes Australian-made long-wheelbase models, was up 51.0 per cent in April and 43.0 per cent for the year so far.

In the Medium segment, Australian-built Toyota Camry sales were up 57.0 per cent last month and 32.1 per cent year-to-date.

"As we forecast, the new generation of Australian models launched by Holden and Toyota have gained momentum and are selling very well - which should give great heart to the local car industry," said Peter Sturrock.

"There is plenty of evidence in the sales statistics that there is still a significant market for larger vehicles in Australia."

Mr Sturrock gave as an example the four-wheel-drive Pick-up segment, sales of which were up 25.8 per cent last month and 29.0 per cent for the year so far.

Sales in the SUV Compact segment boomed in by 45.3 per cent in April on the back of new model launches.

Elsewhere, the growth of Light car sales continued last month (up 15.2 per cent) but the larger Small segment softened by 6.7 per cent.

Toyota was the top-selling brand in April with 16,383, followed by Holden (11,166) and Ford (7741).

Holding the next four places were Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan - all of whom achieved sales gains over the same month last year.

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