The Australian automotive industry has posted its second highest annual sales total on record.
Despite being the second highest annual figures the number of vehicles sold in 2006 are down 2.06% compared with 2005.
Toyota was the best-selling brand in 2006 for the fourth year in a row with a 22.2 per cent share of the total market.
It was followed by Holden (15.2 per cent), Ford (11.9 per cent) and Mazda (6.6 per cent) â€“ their finishing positions unchanged from 2005.
Mitsubishi (5.6 per cent), Nissan (5.5 per cent) and Hyundai (4.8 per cent) dropped one spot each â€“ all three leap-frogged by Honda (5.6 per cent) in an extremely tight sales tussle.
Volkswagen moved into the top ten by taking the spot previously held by Kia.
The 2006 results show some significant changes in the sales mix between vehicle segments.
Light car sales rose by 20,196 or 21.1 per cent while Small car sales remained much the same, up 1345 or 0.6 per cent.
“Light cars became more popular last year, not just because they were more fuel-efficient, but because they were roomier, more practical and better specified for the money than ever before,” said Mr Sturrock.
The Large car segment and the Medium SUV segment both suffered significant slowdowns â€“ falling by 30,775 and 10,632 sales respectively.
In contrast to the apparent move to smaller vehicles was the strength of the Luxury SUV segment, which grew 1739 or 10.5 per cent.
Mr Sturrock pointed to the success of the 4X4 Pick-up/Cab Chassis segment which grew by 4911 vehicles or 7.8 per cent.
The buoyancy of the segment was in contrast to the Light Truck market as a whole, which declined slightly by 6087 vehicles or 3.6 per cent.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is forecasting a steady outlook for 2007 with motor vehicle sales of 970,000.