The traditional six-cylinder family sedan is clawing its way back into the minds of car buyers.
In doing so, family car buyers are helping the market continue its record run, according to the latest Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries sales figures.
Last month, large-car sales rose 1945 vehicles, or 18.6 per cent, medium-car sales increased 1323, or 21.7 per cent, and compact crossover-wagon sales were up 1468, or 23.7 per cent.
The Holden Commodore continues to be the most popular six, and 5134 sold last month. Ford sold 3186 Falcons, Toyota's Aurion managed 1925 and Mitsubishi sold 949 of its 380.
Vfacts industry figures for July show that a record 86,291 cars, trucks and buses were sold, up 8729 vehicles, or 11.3 per cent, on the same month last year.
Though most segments enjoyed reasonable growth, the strongest additional sales were in the family-oriented segments of large and medium cars and compact off-roaders.
FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar says sales growth this year is more widely spread across segments than last year.
“In 2006 the dynamics of the automotive market were dominated by small and light-car sales but this year sales action has been more broadly based,” he says.
So far this year the market total of 610,667 vehicles is running 8.9 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
The FCAI continues to forecast a record sales year of more than one million vehicles.
McKellar says the continued sales buoyancy is pleasing, but he is cautious about the future because of economic challenges ahead.
“The overall strength of the market in July is a tremendous result and we are on track for record annual sales, but we shouldn't take the strength of the motor-vehicle market for granted,” he says.
“In particular, there is nothing in these sales figures that in any way supports the case for an interest-rate increase. There is no evidence of excess demand in the motor-vehicle market.
“Supply has responded strongly to meet consumer demand, competition is intense and vehicle affordability is at record levels.”
Top 10 makes
1 Toyota 19,047
2 Holden 12,343
3 Ford 9006
4 Mazda 6456
5 Mitsubishi 5308
6 Honda 5632
7 Nissan 4597
8 Hyundai 4005
9 Subaru 3007
10 Volkswagen 2383
Top 10 models
1 Holden Commodore 5134
2 Toyota Corolla 4460
3 Toyota HiLux 3300
4 Ford Falcon 3186
5 Mazda3 2909
6 Toyota Yaris 2449
7 Toyota Camry 1990
8 Toyota Aurion 1925
9 Hyundai Getz 1720
10 Mitsubishi Lancer 1676