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Small car sales boom

Hyundai's budget Getz is one of the big sellers in the small car market.

Small car sales were up more than 40 per cent last month as the industry tracks to a bumper one million-plus sales year. Budget buys continue to dominate, filling out seven of the top 10 sales spots in April.

South Korean importer Hyundai was one of the stars, recording 16 consecutive months of month-on-month sales growth. Its sales are up 65 per cent this year. Hyundai's budget sub-$15,000 Getz and i30 hatch, which starts around $20,300, are the big sellers. Spokesman, Stephen Howard, said more buyers are chasing value for money with small cars. "And that's our whole philosophy," he said.

Toyota's HiLux ute was the No1 seller last month, beating the Holden Commodore by just 254 cars. Despite the popularity of the workman's ute, the home-grown Holden remains the country's top selling family sedan. More than 14,500 Commodores have been sold this year.

Solid sales delivered the second highest April result on record. Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that 81,401 vehicles were sold last month, up 27 per cent on the same month in 2009. FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said most segments were strong.

"It is certainly very encouraging and shows the competition between the brands is intense," he said. "But challenges still remain."

McKellar warns that interest rate increases could dampen demand in coming months. "However, the industry is hopeful that they are now at a level where further increases will be more difficult to justify," he said.

Toyota holds on to its top selling position with a market share of 20.5 per cent. Holden is in second spot with 12.2 per cent and Ford third with 10.1 per cent. This year-to-date, 333,228 vehicles have been sold.

Top 10 sellers

1 Toyota HiLux 3419
2 Holden Commodore 3165
3 Mazda3 3079
4 Toyota Corolla 2829
5 Ford Falcon 2763
6 Holden Cruze 2514
7 Hyundai i30 2483
8 Hyundai Getz 2192
9 Mitsubishi Lancer 1912
10 Toyota Yaris 1799