Well, the build up has almost been unbearable but its finally official, Australians have for the first time bought more than one million motor vehicles in a single calendar year, surpassing 2005, the previous “best” year with a paltry 988,269 sales.
VFACTS sales figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that 1,049,982 cars, trucks and buses were sold in 2007 – an increase of 87,316 or 9.1 percent over 2006.
"One million new motor vehicles sales in a country of 21 million people is an impressive achievement by the Australian automotive industry – and ranks as one of the highest rates of new car purchase in the developed world. The Australian motor vehicle market has now grown in six out of the last seven years, driven by the strength of the labour market, rising asset values and improving vehicle affordability," said FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar.
The 2007 result was further boosted by record December sales of 86,250 – up 9,187 or 11.9 per cent on December 2006 and don’t go thinking that the fun is now over, as the FCAI is predicting another bumper year in 2008, with the million sales mark set to be breached for the second time.
For the 12th year in a row Holden’s Commodore was Australia’ s best-selling motor vehicle in 2007 with 57,307 sales, while Toyota’s Corolla maintained its second place with 47,792 closely followed by the Toyota HiLux which took out the third place award with 42,009 sales.
Despite high (and rising) fuel costs, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Light Commercial vehicles were major contributors to overall market growth. Of the more than 87,000 additional sales last year, 27,329 were SUVs and 15,052 were 4x4 Pick-ups, enough to see the SUV market grow by 16.0 per cent and the 4x4 Pick-up segment by 22.3 percent.
Other major contributors to market growth were Small cars, which were up 13,030 sales or 5.9 per cent and Light cars – up 11,805 or 10.2 per cent. Small cars remained the largest volume segment of the market with 232,388 sales, ahead of Large cars which, with 139,677 sales, grew by 3154 or 2.3 per cent.
Predictably, for the fifth straight year, Toyota was the best-selling in brand in 2007 with a 22.5 per cent share of the total market with Holden coming a distant second with 14.0 per cent and Ford being third with 10.3 per cent.