GM affiliate Holden was the only local manufacturer to increase sales in August as the market fell by 9,807 vehicles or 13 per cent below the same month last year, writes Mike Duffy.

But the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said last August had been distorted by a return of buyers attracted by lower vehicle prices resulting from the then newly-introduced goods and services tax. The chamber said that if last August was left out of calculations, last month was the best August on record.

Holden recorded its highest August sales for 12 years plus market leadership for the eighth month in a row. More than one in four passenger cars sold nationally during the month was a Holden.

In year-to-date calculations, the nation’s top-selling brand now leads Toyota by 18,096 cars and commercials and Ford by 38,547 units. A total of 65,998 new vehicles were registered last month. The passenger market was 8,929 vehicles or 16.6 per cent down on the same month last year.

Holden took the lion’s share of total sales with 14,343 units for 21.7 percent of the total market. Toyota was second with 12,950 sales for 19.6 per cent and Ford was third on 9,156 for 13.9 per cent. Mitsubishi Motors achieved 5,745 sales for a 13.9 per cent market share. The Commodore maintained its now customary role as Australia’s top selling car, with 6,963 sales, claiming 44.6 per cent of the large car market. This compared with 4,366 Ford Falcon sales for the month. Holden’s Commodore now leads Ford’s Falcon by a record 22,410 units for the year. Mitsubishi Magna/Verada recorded 1,941 sales behind Toyota’s Camry which found 2,370 buyers.

The Opel-designed Holden Astra, which looked likely to take over leadership in the small car sector, was kept in the No 2 spot by a strong month for Toyota’s Corolla. Toyota has sold 19,150 Corollas so far this year including an outstanding 3,273 in August. This compares with the Astra’s 2,836 sales in August and 18,649 year to date. Renault appears to be struggling after its latest return to Australia. The French brand managed only 301 sales in August after 217 in July and 307 in June.

Australia’s Top 10 Car Brands August 2001
1 Holden 14,343
2 Toyota 12,950
3 Ford 9,156
4 Mitsubishi 5,745
5 Nissan 3,598
6 Hyundai 3,003
7 Mazda 2,671
8 Subaru 2,243
9 Honda 1,577
10 Mercedes-Benz 1,352

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

World Automotive Aftermarket to 2002

Global Car Forecasts to 2005 (download)