The Australian automotive industry has for the first time sold morethan 100,000 motor vehicles in a single month, staying on course tosmash the annual sales record set last year.
According to VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber ofAutomotive Industries (FCAI), 101,907 cars, trucks and buses were soldin June, beating the previous record monthly total of 97,212 set inJune, 2004.
At the half-yearly mark the industry has sold 498,967 vehicles - 5.4 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
On current trends total annual sales are likely to easily surpass lastyear's record of 955,229 - which would make it the car industry'sfourth annual record in a row.
The Chief Executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock, is forecasting a 2005total of 980,000 and says the growth is being driven to new heights byfierce competition, appealing new models and a growing demand for moreeconomical cars.
"The small car segment is booming this year, led by a record result forToyota Corolla last month, suggesting that fuel economy has risen onthe list of priorities for many buyers," said Mr Sturrock.
So far this year, sales of the Small Car segment are up 16.6 per cent and the Light Car segment is up 8.5 per cent.
"The automotive industry is in the fashion and lifestyle business andthe car brands that are doing well are the ones that are offering thelatest trends," said Mr Sturrock.
Mr Sturrock cited as example the huge success of theAustralian-designed-and-built Ford Territory, which sold 2537 lastmonth, making it the best-selling Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of anysize.
The SUV market was the fastest-growing sector of the industry with sales up 9.8 per cent.
Mr Sturrock said that, while the Territory's popularity was great newsfor local automotive manufacturing, the other news of note was theperformance of Mitsubishi, whose sales so far this year have risen 17.1per cent.
"It's very pleasing to see that Mitsubishi has overcome its recentdifficulties and returned to its traditional position of fourth on thesales charts," said Mr Sturrock.
Toyota was the top-selling brand in June with 21,545 or 21.1 per centshare of the market, ahead of Holden with 17,108 (16.8 per cent), Ford(12,951 and 12.7 per cent) and Mitsubishi with 8136 or 8.0 per cent.
On a year-to-date basis, Toyota continues to lead the market with 97,976 sales, 7748 units ahead of Holden.
Other strong performers are Mazda, in fourth, with sales up 17.7 percent for the year to date, seventh placed Hyundai whose sales are up15.6 per cent and eighth-placed Honda whose sales are up 31.4 per cent.
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