You could be forgiven for thinking that the Australian new car market was existing on some other planet besides this one. I mean we’re sliding into a recession and money is becoming tight … but the new car market continues to boom month after month and April was no exception.
Australian motor vehicle sales achieved an all time April record, with car buyers apparently still undeterred by recent rises in interest rates.
Official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that a total of 84,061 cars, trucks and buses were sold last month: an increase of 11.2 per cent on April 2007.
“While the April result was boosted by the early timing of Easter, which fell in March, the underlying sales trend remains notably strong and resilient,” said the Chief Executive of the FCAI, Andrew McKellar.
Year-to-date the car market is now up by 5.1 per cent on the all-time record year of 2007.
“Private motorists are buying cars at the same rate as last year (up 0.6 per cent YTD) and business purchases have risen by 12.6 per cent so far this year,” he said.
“The FCAI forecast of one million vehicle sales this year remains firm,” said Mr McKellar.
The main drivers of market growth last month were small cars, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Light Trucks.
In the Passenger Vehicle Market, the small car segment rose by 3603 vehicle or 24.0 per cent over April last year, while the medium car segment (up 755 or 11.4 per cent) and the light car segment (up 505 of 5.3 per cent) also contributed.
The Light Truck market grew by 3077 or 22.6 per cent, with the Pick-up/Cab-chassis (PU/CC) 4×4 and PU/CC 4×2 segments adding 1403 and 922 sales respectively.
The van segment also grew by 686 vehicles or 42.7 per cent.
Toyota remained the top-selling marque in April with 24.8 per cent of the market, followed by Holden with 12.1 per cent and Ford with 9.8 per cent.
So far this year Toyota leads the sales race with 81,062 from Holden with 44,037 and Ford with 34,533.