Tony O'Kane | Jan 6, 2009

Toyota Australia has announced its sales figures for the year just gone, and while the global auto market endures shrinking demand and huge financial uncertainty, the local arm of Toyota Motor Co enjoyed unprecedented success in 2008.

This year of course - 2009 - will be more of a challenge.

Toyota Australia managed to achieve an all-time sales record in 2008, selling 2,336 more cars than its previous record (set in 2007) and shifting a grand total of 238,983 vehicles off showroom floors. Huge demand for the Corolla small car (no doubt spurred by rising petrol prices) and a dramatic uptake of the Hilux 4x4 ute by the expanding mining industry were largely responsible for Toyota's strong sales performance, but the brand also shone in other areas too, leading nine out of twelve VFACTS vehicle sales categories.

As for this year? Toyota senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner says the company is looking forward to 2009 with "enthusiasm and cautious optimism", and is confident that demand for Toyota vehicles should remain strong.

"Toyota's medium and large SUVs, and our HiAce bus and vans and HiLux 4x4, have all recorded substantial gains in demand over the previous sales year," said Mr Buttner.

"Toyota Corolla has proven its appeal by ending the year as Australia's second most in-demand vehicle, achieving an all-time record. The market is by no means in universal decline."

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