Truck sales slump in January


Truck sales fell by almost 20 percent in January, according to official VFACTS data just released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Truck sales fell by almost 20 percent in January, according to official VFACTS data just released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Sales of heavy commercial vehicles suffered the largest decline, down by 29.9 percent to 1,530 compared with the corresponding month of 2008.

Light commercial sales fell by 17.8 percent to 10,805 – or 2,343 fewer vehicles than were sold in January last year.

Passenger car sales also fell markedly, down by 18.5 percent (15,191 vehicles) compared with the same month in 2008.

FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar says: "This is a not an unexpected result given the broadening impact of the global financial crisis now being felt across the Australian economy.

"Australian new vehicle sales have actually held up well by comparison with sales in many other countries."

The automotive industry is hopeful that additional stimulus from recent interest rate cuts and new fiscal policy measures announced by the Federal Government will help to underpin the market in coming months.

"This is an extremely competitive market with plenty of opportunities, and with interest rates now even lower people should not be deterred from considering buying a new vehicle," McKellar says.

In particular, businesses are also encouraged to take advantage of the Federal Government's strengthened investment allowance, which is expected to apply to new vehicle purchases.

"It's understood that many businesses will be able claim a deduction for up to 30 percent of the cost of a new vehicle," he says.

"That is an enormous saving and something that businesses should look at very closely."

Toyota was Australia's best-selling brand in January with 13,427 vehicles (20 percent market share) followed by Holden with 8,762 (13.1 percent) and Mazda with 6,532 vehicle sales (9.7 percent).

To view the VFACTS data in full click here.

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