Tax break lifts mid-year sales

Car dealers are feel­ing nicely stim­u­lated, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

JUNE gave the car in­dus­try rea­son to re­joice af­ter months of doom and gloom. The half­way mark of the year is usu­ally a strong re­tail month, but dealers re­port that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s small-busi­ness stim­u­lus pack­age is driv­ing ex­tra sales.

The in­vest­ment al­lowance helped push ute sales, mak­ing the Toy­ota HiLux the coun­try’s top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle ahead of the Holden Com­modore.

GM Holden’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing, Alan Batey, summed it up: ‘‘We ex­pected June to be strong, but it was bet­ter than ex­pected.’’

Busi­ness pur­chases last month were 46,679 — a 12 per cent in­crease on a year ago.

Ute, van and light trucks surged 26.9 per cent com­pared with June last year.

The strength of the mar­ket sur­prised some lead­ing car­mak­ers and im­porters.

Toy­ota sold 4756 HiLuxes, eight more than Com­modore sales, to make it the third time in 18 months that HiLux has out­sold the sedan.

Holden’s new small car, the Cruze, had a con­fi­dent start, 873 leav­ing the show­rooms.

Tradies and recre­ational buy­ers also swamped dealers. Mit­subishi sold 3043 Tri­tons and Nis­san 2568 Navaras. Holden sold 1577 Com­modore utes.

The HiLux con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate the 4x2 and 4x4 ute seg­ments, with a 23 per cent share of the 4x2 mar­ket and 27 per cent of the 4x4s.

Apart from the ute, the Yaris and Corolla are help­ing to firm Toy­ota’s po­si­tion as mar­ket leader this year. Toy­ota sold 4066 Corol­las and 2194 Yarises in June.

Bud­get buy­ers also gave Hyundai dealers rea­son to smile — they sold 2742 i30s and 2263 Get­zes.

Toy­ota Aus­tralia’s se­nior ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, David But­tner, says June’s fig­ures and over­all con­sumer con­fi­dence is cause for op­ti­mism for the re­main­der of the year.

The June vol­ume of 102,847 ve­hi­cles is down 3694 sales or 3.5 per cent on June, 2008, (106,541 ve­hi­cles), but it’s the third high­est monthly vol­ume on record.

So far this year 455,223 ve­hi­cles have been sold, which is down on the same pe­riod last year by 16.1 per cent or 87,742 ve­hi­cles.

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