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Women driving change in Australian automotive industry

2005 saw another record year for vehicle sales in Australia with 608,000 passenger cars being sold. While there has been an overall increase in sales, there has been a change in the types of cars people are buying. There has been a shift away from large cars with sales down by 15.7% and a move toward small cars, with an increase of 18.6% over the previous year. There was also an increase in the SUV/4WD market of 4.2%.

Although high fuel prices are a contributor to the move towards smaller cars, Melissa Pye, Managing Director of W Communications Group believes that it is the influence of women that is driving these changes.

"Women buy just as many cars as men, but have the power of veto in about 80% of cases. The shift away from traditional large family cars and station wagons to SUVs is a testament to this. Women are looking for the safety and functionality that SUVs offer in a more contemporary design. Look no further than the Ford Territory which is extremely popular with women with sales increasing by a staggering 72% over the previous year" said Melissa

Other models that were class leaders include Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Getz, Kia Carnival and Toyota Prado, all popular with women.

Mazda experienced an increase in market share and was the 4th highest selling passenger brand in Australia. "Mazda has appeal to both men and women. They have a marketing formula that is working very well at the moment. Great looking products with features that appeal to both men and women, competitive pricing and advertising that empowers women, without disempowering men!" says Melissa.