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Brand New Toyota Hilux

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Steane Klose | May 5, 2008

April has proven to be an interesting month for local vehicle sales. Toyota is storming the market, relegating Holden’s Commodore to third place and in a surprise turn-up for the books it wasn’t the Corolla that was the best seller – it was the HiLux!

That’s right, the Toyota HiLux was Australia’s best-selling car in April, riding a trend that has been shaping for sometime in this country, the move to practical and economical (in diesel form) commercial vehicles by private buyers and fleet operators. Spurred by the booming mining industry and the easing of the drought in some areas of the country, sales of HiLux 4x2 and 4x4 models totalled 3814 vehicles in April, an increase of more than 27.1 per cent on the same month last year.

Toyota also had the number two seller with Corolla, which has extended its lead as the top-selling car so far this year. It is the first time Toyota has achieved the "quinella" by having the two best-selling vehicles in the country in one month.

Other firsts for Toyota in April were:

• Record sales of 20,838 vehicles, up 27.2 per cent on April 2007,

• Record market share of 24.8 per cent, up from 21.7 per cent in the previous April,

• More than doubling the sales of its nearest competitor,

• Achieving the top four positions in the SUV market - Kluger (1268), RAV (1191), Prado (1157) and LandCruiser 200 Series wagon (1124).

So far this year, Australian motorists have bought 15,724 Corollas - at least 890 more than any other vehicle.

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The company's, , said strong sales of Toyota commercial vehicles such as HiLux were due to improved supply and favourable economic conditions in key sectors.

"Demand has been running hot for vehicles such as HiLux because of the mining boom and the easing of the drought in many places. We have been short of stock, especially for turbo diesel models, but we were able to get additional supply last month,” said Tony Cramb divisional manager of national sales for Toyota.

The FCAI is reporting April as another record month for car sales in Australia with a total of 84,061 cars, trucks and buses sold during the month, the equivalent of an 11.2 percent increase over April 2007.

The business sector is the big spender with sales to business buyers and fleets increasing by 12.6 percent this year to-date. Private buyers habits have remained virtually unchanged with a slight rise in their buying activity, up by 0.6 percent.

"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.

The FCAI is predictably, forecasting a second year of one million plus new car sales and noted that 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) 4x4 and PU/CC 4x2 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.

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