Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showed that 70,241 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in February 2009 – down 21.9% year on year.

“This result is consistent with the trend of recent months and reflects the impact of broader economic conditions on the new vehicle market,” FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“The federal government has taken action to provide businesses with a considerable tax break when they invest in assets, including new vehicles,” McKellar added.

Many businesses will be able to claim a deduction of up to 30% of the cost of an eligible new vehicle purchased before 30 June 2009.

“The tax break provides a significant boost to business and will help encourage investment and broader economic activity,” he said.

Toyota was Australia’s best-selling brand in February with 14,274 vehicles (20.3% market share) followed by Holden with 9,029 (12.9%) and Ford with 7,396 vehicle sales (10.5%).