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Record Month as Small Car sales Boom

5 October 2005

The Australian motor vehicle market continues to head towards a new annual record, driven by a big increase in demand for smaller cars and light trucks.

Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 84,440 vehicles were sold in September - an increase of 5.0 per cent on the same month last year.

Within the overall total the Small passenger car segment was the big mover, its volume increasing by 5,624 cars or 38.1 per cent month on month.

This trend was backed by growth in the smaller Light car segment, which grew by 1,151 or 16.3 per cent over September 2004.

"September's sales continue the downsizing trend of recent months. It's clear that this trend has been magnified by the recent impact of higher petrol prices," said FCAI Chief Executive Peter Sturrock.

The top-selling model last month was Toyota Corolla with 4,950 sales.

The last time a small car topped the sales charts was June 1998 when Hyundaia's Excel sold 8,663.

"While small cars are clearly flavour of the moment, sales of large 4WD utes in the Light Truck market are also booming - and many of them would have been bought by private motorists," said Mr Sturrock.

The Light Truck market was up 1,228 vehicles or 9.3 per cent month-on-month, driven primarily by a spike in Pick-Up/Cab Chassis 4X4 segment, which was up by 1,092 or 24.4 per cent over September last year.

Peter Sturrock says that, after three quarters of sales, it's clear that the annual total will top last year's record of 955, 229.

"There's no reason to expect car buyers will put the brakes on now - especially given the launch of several important new volume models at next week's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney," he said.

Among the new models launched at the motor show will be the new Mitsubishi 380 and Ford BF Falcon, which Mr Sturrock says are likely to help arrest the current softening in the Large car segment, which is down 12.2 per cent for the year to date.

The top-selling motor vehicle brand in September was Toyota with 19,192 or 22.7 per cent share of the market, ahead fo Holden with 14,056 (16.6 per cent) and Ford (10,127 and 12.0 per cent).

Mazda was fourth with 4,931 (5.8 per cent) just ahead of local manufacturer Mitsubishi with 4,684 (5.5 per cent).

On a year-to-date basis, Toyota continues to lead the market with 151,503 sales, ahead of Holden with 133,641.

For more information contact:

Peter Sturrock
Chief Executive
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries