Car buyers are expected to rush showrooms in the final quarter of the year, lured by the excitement of new-model Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry, writes Mike Duffy.

The three top-selling cars have been restyled, repackaged and repriced for release in late September. In the meantime, there is no shortage of buyers attracted by run-out deals on soon-to-be-superseded models.

Official VFACTS car figures, released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, showed August sales were up 3649 vehicles or 5.5 on the same month last year.

On a year-to-date basis this puts sales of cars and commercials 39,136 units or 7.7 per cent ahead of the first eight months of 2001 and well on track to exceed the record of 807,669 set in 1998.

A significant number of private and fleet buyers have stood out of the market, waiting for the three new top sellers. The Toyota Camry, released last week will be followed into the marketplace by Holden’s VY Commodore and Ford’s BA Falcon before the end of September.

As the three cars engage one another in a marketing battle, last-quarter car sales look certain to set a new record by year-end.

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A total of 69,647 vehicles were sold in August, taking the tally for the year to 546,395 units.

Holden sold 14,923 sales for 21.4 per cent of the market, 2,170 vehicles more than Toyota which finished in second place on 18.3 per cent. Ford sold 9663 vehicles for a 13.9 per cent market share while Mitsubishi took fourth place with 5487 vehicles for 7.9 per cent.

Nissan was top selling importer with 4031 sales for 5.8 per cent of the market. Mazda, underpinned by new-model activity, climbed to fixth place with 2,818 units or 4 per cent of the market.

Year-to-date calculations had Holden way out in front on 119,303 or 21.8 per cent of the market. Toyota is second on 103,200 registrations for 18.9 with Ford third on 71,203 sales or 13 per cent and Mitsubishi fourth with 42,352 sales for 7.8 per cent.

Holden Commodore held its position as top selling car with 7,097 sales ahead of Ford Falcon on 4,744. Mitsubishi Magna/Verada outsold Camry in August by 2,059 to 1879 units respectively.

Once again, the Holden Monaro monstered sports car sales with 338 sales accounting for almost a third of the segment.

Top selling manufacturers in August

1 Holden 14,923
2 Toyota 12,753
3 Ford 9664
4 Mitsubishi 5487
5 Nissan 4031
6 Mazda 2818
7 Honda 2541
8 Subaru 2410
9 Hyundai 2224
10 Mercedes-Benz 1594