06/01/2009 - 10:57

WA vehicle sales stable in 2008

06/01/2009 - 10:57

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Vehicle sales in Western Australia have largely remained stable during 2008 despite a 14 per cent drop in purchases in December.

WA vehicle sales stable in 2008

Vehicle sales in Western Australia have largely remained stable during 2008 despite a 14 per cent drop in purchases in December.

According to latest statistics from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, 116,652 vehicles were sold in WA during 2008, down 3.8 per cent from 2007's 121,275.

Nationally, 1.012 million vehicles were sold in 2008, the second time the 1 million mark has ever been reached.

The national annual figure was down 3.6 per cent or 37,818 vehicles compared to 2007.

Meantime, December vehicle sales in WA dropped 14.2 per cent to 8416 units, higher than the national fall of 11.3 per cent.

"It's a great result, it's an outstanding result, it's the second highest outcome on record," FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

"Indeed, it's a testament to the competitive nature of the Australian motor industry.

"Australia's three local manufacturers remain the top three selling brands, reinforcing the importance of the local manufacturing sector as a cornerstone of the Australian (motor) industry," Mr McKellar said.

"In order, Toyota, Holden and Ford accounted for a total of 474,036 sales.

"That is 46.8 per cent of the entire market in 2008."

The Holden Commodore was the top-selling vehicle, the 13th year in a row that it has held that position.

Looking ahead, the FCAI forecasts that 880,000 new vehicles will be sold nationally during 2009, a downturn of 12 to 13 per cent.

"The message for 2009 is we must maintain our confidence," Mr McKellar said.

The strong showing by the Australian motor industry is in sharp contrast to the situation in the US, where Chrysler has reported a 53 per cent drop in sales in December, and Ford, GM and Toyota have reported drops of between 30 and 37 per cent.

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