Steane Klose | Jan 6, 2009

The FCAI has just released the end-of-year figures for 2008 and for only the second time ever, the magic one million sales a year was exceeded with 1,012,164 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles being sold in 2008 - down just 3.6 percent, or 37,818 vehicles, compared to 2007.

"This is a good result and shows that the car industry finished the year on a strong note," FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

However, the FCAI is forecasting new vehicle sales of only 880,000 units in 2009, a drop of over 10 percent when compared to 2008. This prediction comes on the back of flagging sales in the final months leading up to the 2008 year-end.

"We must be realistic about the outlook for the year ahead and acknowledge the impact that the global financial crisis is having on the broader economy."

andrew-mckellar-fcaiThe December sales figure of 76,510 was down 11.3 percent on the previous year, but was still enough to see the yearly figure top the million mark.

"Sales in December held up well with buyers taking advantage of the many competitive opportunities available in the marketplace."

"Nonetheless there are positives that will underpin demand in 2009, including lower fuel prices, reduced interest rates and the impact of additional fiscal measures implemented by the Federal Government," Mr McKellar said.

Light commercial vehicles sold strongly all year and were a major contributor to the overall market result, with the segment increasing 4.2 percent during 2008.

The passenger car segment ended the year down 6.3 percent compared to 2007. SUV sales were down 1.9 percent and heavy commercials were down 3.5 percent.

Toyota topped the charts and was once again the runaway best-selling brand in Australia during 2008, with 238,983 vehicles (23.6 percent market share) followed by Holden with 130,338 (12.9 percent of the market) and Ford with 104,715 vehicle sales (10.3 percent market share).

The Holden Commodore was the top-selling vehicle model in 2008, for the thirteenth year in a row. Let’s see what 2009 brings.

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