General Motors’ Australian operation Holden has rounded off the first half of 2004 with its best monthly sales result since December 1982 in June, and leadership in the passenger and light truck segments.

Holden sold 17,502 vehicles during June led by its light commercial range which reached an all-time high of 5,354, 38% higher for the year to date than 2003.

The recently redesigned Rodeo pickup – built by Isuzu in Thailand – recorded an all-time monthly record of 2,553 sales, followed by 2,216 Ute (Commodore-derived pickup truck) range sales.

Holden sold 88,381 vehicles in the six months to the end of June, almost 2000 units higher than in the same period in 2003, for overall market share of 18.7% behind Toyota at 21.3%.

The Commodore had its strongest month for the year in June with 7,746 sales and now leads its Ford Falcon rival by more than 5,000 units or almost 15% year to date.

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Holden is currently forecasting a 950,000-unit market for the full year although it notes that planned import tariff reductions due to take effect January 2005 may have a dampening effect in the second half of 2004 as buyers delay purchases in anticipation of price cuts on imported models.