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New vehicle market holds at near record levels

6 September 2006

August new vehicle market holds at near record levels, but used imports collapse

6733 new cars and 1909 new commercial vehicles were sold in August, continuing the sales pace that’s seeing 2006 fall just behind the records set in 2005. Last year was a historical peak, but 2006 produced the second best August for new passenger cars since 1990, and the second best for new commercials since 1985.

In marked contrast, used import passenger cars were down 30% in August compared with August 2005, in the lowest month since February 2001. Year to date August, new vehicles (passenger plus commercial) were down just 2.9% on the same period last year, but used imports were down 16.7%.

“Clearly the softening economy is having a small effect on new vehicle sales, but it’s having a much larger impact on the oversupplied used vehicle market,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association. “Now that the remaining used vehicle financiers have tightened their lending criteria we’re starting to see the true level of demand for overpriced bottom-end imports.”

Toyota holds a clear 2405 unit lead over Ford in year to date total new vehicle sales, but it’s a much closer race for passenger car leadership, with Ford getting within 18 units YTD following a huge 436 margin over Toyota in August.

In the individual model stakes, Falcon surged to a big lead over Commodore ahead of the latter’s model change, but Commodore still maintains a healthy margin year to date.

Sheet 1: Top fifteen distributors, full year 2005, month of August and YTD 2006, total vehicles, new cars, new commercials.

Sheet 2: Top fifteen sellers by model, full year 2005, month of August and YTD 2006, top ten rental cars August 2006.


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