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2008 New Vehicle Sales Provide a Positive Start to 2009

January 7th, 2009
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Australian Automobile Dealers Association, Victoria (AADA-Vic) and VACC are encouraged by today’s release of the 2008 new vehicle sales figures.

For the second year running, and only the second time ever, Australians bought more than one million new vehicles during a calendar year.

Official VFACTS figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 1,012,164 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in 2008.

“This is positive news for the Australian automotive industry,” VACC spokesperson Murray Collins said.

“There is little doubt that 2008 was a challenging year, so to achieve one million new vehicle sales is a very good effort.

“The next 12 months are expected to be tough for all concerned in the automotive sector. However, auto-industry people are very resilient and we are optimistic that it will be a successful year.

“The industry is looking ahead with confidence and planning for the future after receiving significant support towards the end of 2008.

“The $6.2 billion ‘New Car Plan’ showed the Rudd Government was committed to a sustainable automotive industry. And the ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV) – the $2 billion ‘floorplan’ rescue package – was a timely break-through by Treasurer Wayne Swan to end the dealer finance crisis.

“The SPV, along with support from the banking sector, has allowed viable dealerships, who were affected by the withdrawal of GE Money and GMAC, to keep trading.

“AADA (Vic) and VACC are continuing to work closely with our new and used car dealers to ensure they utilise this 12 month transition period and are well equipped to establish permanent credit solutions for the long term.

“In the meantime, dealers are still keen for business and for anyone thinking of purchasing a new vehicle, the New Year is proving to be an excellent time to buy.

“But we advise buyers to seize the opportunity while they can, because this situation will not last forever. The fall in the Australian dollar means that prices for imported cars must rise once dealers clear current stocks,” Mr Collins said.

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