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Holden VE Commodore sales fail to revive market

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HOLDEN'S billion dollar VE Commodore has sold 549 more vehicles than the nine year old face-lifted model it replaced.

It was the second full month of sales for Holden’s VE Commodore and while it remains the best selling car in the country, many of its traditional buyers continue to look at other car segments.

Holden declined to say how many new Commodores it expected to sell, but the investment and general buzz of a new model meant expectations were high.

Holden sold 5455 new VE Commodores over October, which represented 51 per cent of the large car sales, according to figures released from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries today.

A spokesman said Holden was pleased but reserved judgement on how the car was being received by the public.

"We’re not declaring victory yet," a Holden spokesman said. "We’re waiting till the end of the year to see if the large car market has rebounded because of the introduction of a new car."

Holden claimed that a recent decline in fuel prices had a positive effect on large car sales, but uncertainty still loomed.

"The open fear on fuel (costs) reflects on the consumer confidence in buying a large car, which is why November and December will be educative in that regard."

A major Sydney-based Holden dealer said the retail market for Commodores was tough, but fleet sales were buoyant.

"I can’t get enough Omega and Calais for fleet, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought we’d sell more to private buyers,” he said. “I expected much more enquiries.”

The large car segment was now down almost 20 per cent on year-to-date sales figures as car buyers looked at alternatives.

Total car sales for the large car segment were 10,639, with Ford selling 2,945 Falcons (down from 3,642 for October 2005).

Sales of the Mitsubishi 380 barely held from the same time last year, selling 944 cars this October compared to 951 last year.

The under $25,000 light car segment surged a massive 21.5 per cent in year-to-date sales totalling 9,729. The Toyota Yaris dominated sales with 2,858 – nearly 30 per cent of the total market.

The Toyota Camry dominated the under $55,000 medium car segment . More than 3,000 Camry’s were sold in a segment with total sales of 6,422 cars - a decline of 3.6 per cent year-to-date.

Overall sales of new cars and trucks in Australia rose five per cent in October with almost 80,000 vehicles retailed for the month.

The result took total sales for the year to 802,306, 2.8 per cent below the year-to-date figure at the same time in 2005.

Toyota was the top selling company with 18,589 vehicles in October, well ahead of Holden on 12,779 and Ford on 8,691.

Year-to-date Toyota was also well ahead with 175,953 vehicles compared to 122,144 for Holden.

FAST FACTS

Top selling cars

Holden Commodore 5,455

Toyota Corolla 3,722

Toyota Camry 3,205

Ford Falcon 2,945

Toyota Yaris 2,858

Mazda 3 2,585

Hyundai Getz 1,594

Ford Focus 1,584

Holden Astra 1,575

Toyota HiLux 4x4 1,457

Top selling companies

Toyota 18,589

Holden 12,779

Ford 8,691

Mazda 4,769

Nissan 4,436

Honda 4,433

Mitsubishi 4,354

Hyundai 3,422

Subaru 2,817

Volkswagen 1,980

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