In spite of rising interest rates and fuel prices, the Australian motor vehicle market continues to power on setting new records.
Official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 542,695 new cars, trucks and buses were sold in the first six months of 2008 - up 18,319 or 3.5 per cent on the same period in the record year of 2007.
June sales were a new record with 106,541 new vehicles finding homes - an increase of 1,444 or 1.4 percent over the same month in 2007. The June result is an all-time record.
The FCAI is predicting that the market will again exceed a million motor vehicle sales. The sales figures for the 2007-08 fiscal year are also in and with the tally showing sales of 1,068,301 vehicles - almost a 65,000 unit increase over the previous financial year - also a new record.
"While there are reasons to be cautious about the general market outlook in the second half of the year, the industry remains confident that total 2008 sales will once again top a million units," said the chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Andrew McKellar.
The movers and shakers behind the scenes are the Medium SUV and small car segments. Sales of Medium SUV's are up 18.5 percent or 6,662 sales on the same period last year, while the small car segment has grown by 4.6 percent or 5,410 sales.
Sales of two wheel drive Cab-chassis/Pick-ups have skyrocketed with sales for the period having increased by 4,158 sales of 12.0 percent.
"The continued growth of the motor vehicle market so far this year is an encouraging result given current economic circumstances," said McKellar.
Predictably, Toyota lead the pack with a total of 127,440 sales or 23.5 per cent of the market, followed by Holden with 67,123 (12.4 per cent) and Ford with 54,469 (10.0 per cent).
The most best selling car year-to-date is Toyota's Corolla with 24,415 sales, ahead of Holden's Commodore with 23,323 sales. Toyota's HiLux is a whisker behind the Commodore with 22,132 sales making for an interesting run through to the end of the year.