Tax break buoys sales
In tough times we like small cars, writes NEIL McDONALD
SMALL-business buyers continue to bolster new vehicle sales. Though the market was down 10 per cent last month compared with July last year, sales of small cars and off-roaders rose.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries credits the Federal Government’s small-business tax break on new equipment.
Even sports-car sales were up, thanks to new entrants to the market; 75,333 vehicles were sold last month compared to 83,976 in July last year.
Small-car sales rose almost 3 per cent; sales of medium and luxury offroaders rose 4 per cent and 7 per cent.
Some brands, such as Mitsubishi, report shortages of vehicles like the Triton because of the demand.
FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar says the tax break has been a successful stimulus measure.
‘‘And small businesses remain eligible for a 50 per cent tax break until the end of the year,’’ he says.
The Toyota Corolla dislodged the Holden Commodore as No.1 best-seller for the fourth time in 18 months.
Toyota sold 3856 Corollas to Holden’s 3891 Commodores.
The new third-generation Toyota Prius had its best month with 446 government and private sales.
The Holden Cruze leapt out of dealers with 1982 sales, and Hyundai’s Getz and i30 continued to sell well, as did the Mazda3.
Chinese brand Great Wall Motors had a modest start, selling 274 utilities.
Sports-car sales rose 10 per cent last month on the back of new entrants among the luxury imports.
Premium brands Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, Volvo and Volkswagen all recorded slight gains over the same month last year.
Overall, 530,556 new vehicles have been sold so far this year, down 15 per cent or 96,115 vehicles compared with the same period last year.
Toyota extended its overall sales lead with 110,897 vehicles for a 24 per cent overall market share.
Its lead is almost double that of its nearest rival, Holden, with 66,418 sales. Ford is in third spot with 54,239.
Mazda and Hyundai were fourth and fifth with 44,627 and 36,161 sales.