Mike Stevens | Nov 11, 2009

Updated: November 11

FIGURES RELEASED by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that the month of October marked the first sales increase (compared to the same period last year) in 16 months.

Showing a 2.2 percent gain over October 2008, 80,813 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in Australia last month.

“This was a good solid monthly result with the welcome return of private, business and rental buyers in larger numbers,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

“This is the first month since June 2008 that sales have increased when compared to the year before.”

The increase is more impressive when compared with September, when sales were 13.1 percent down on September 2008.

Mr McKellar said that, as businesses move to take advantage of the Federal Government's tax break for small businesses, sales are likely to grow even further before the end of the year.

“While the latest figures are encouraging we would urge the Reserve Bank to proceed with caution in contemplating further interest rate rises until the foundations of a full recovery are clearly established,” he said.

Total sales for 2009 are expected to reach around 910,000, falling short of the 1,012,164 new vehicle sales in 2008.

October's sales have Toyota as the nation's top seller with 17,888 vehicles sold, ahead of Holden with 10,737 and Ford with 8240.

The Toyota Corolla (3724 sales) topped sales for October, followed closely by the Toyota HiLux (3707).

Overall, the top-selling car in Australia year-to-date continues to be the Holden Commodore (3455 sales for October), which, despite being down 9.3 percent on the same period last year, tops the list with 36,085 sales.

The SUV segment proved the strongest in October, recording a 9.5 percent increase over October 2008.

Light commercial vehicles followed with a 3.4 percent increase, and passenger car sales grew by 1.3 percent.

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Despite the good signs this month, overall sales for the year are down 11.7 percent against year-to-date (YTD) sales last year, with 762,787 new vehicles sold.

  1. Toyota: 17,888 sales for October, down 20.6 percent YTD
  2. Holden: 10,737 sales for October, 12.2 percent YTD
  3. Ford: 8240 sales for October, 12.7 percent YTD
  4. Hyundai: 6281 sales for October, up 42.0 percent YTD
  5. Mazda: 5637 sales for October, 6.5 percent YTD
  6. Mitsubishi: 4775 sales for October, 14.3 percent YTD
  7. Nissan: 4484 sales for October, 15.6 percent YTD
  8. Subaru: 3302 sales for October, 6.4 percent YTD
  9. Honda: 2841 sales for October, 25.1 percent YTD
  10. Volkswagen: 2626 sales for October, 2.7 percent YTD
  11. Kia: 1556 sales for October, 5.4 percent YTD
  12. Suzuki: 2091 sales for October, 13.7 percent YTD
  13. BMW: 1462 sales for October, 6.0 percent YTD
  14. Mercedes-Benz: 1351 sales for October, 4.1 percent YTD
  15. Audi: 1022 sales for October, 18.5 percent YTD
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