Tax break buoys sales

In tough times we like small cars, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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