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Another record month of vehicle sales marches on.



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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

5 April 2004 04/078

ANOTHER RECORD MONTH OF VEHICLE SALES MARCHES ON

Car sales in Australia continue to surge with another monthly sales record set for the month of March. 86,046 vehicles were sold in March 2004.

According to VFacts figures released today, this is a 13.1 per cent increase on last March’s figures and an 11.7 per cent jump on the previous March sales record, set in 1999.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said the continued growth of sales is a strong indicator of the positive business outlook being sustained in Australia.

“These figures are a vote of confidence in our economy. When the economy is managed properly, we all feel more comfortable about making major investments including cars,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“The continued growth in Australian vehicle sales has a very real and positive flow-on effect for the wider community. Our automotive and components industries employ about 60,000 people and export $5 billion worth of goods every year.”

“The local automotive sector is delivering jobs and opportunities back home as it carves its niche on the global market,” he said.

The four local manufacturers all recorded increased sales in March with 24,125 Australian-made vehicles sold so far in 2004. Toyota continues its lead with a market share of 21 per cent, followed by Holden on 18.9 per cent.

Year to date sales of all vehicles in Australia are 1 per cent higher than this point in 2003, a record year for sales. The market segments experiencing the greatest growth rates were the light truck segment, up 26.3 per cent on last year, and the sports utility vehicle segment, up 20.5 per cent.

“These figures are another indication of the success of the Australian automotive industry and that the Howard Government’s automotive policy is stimulating investment and innovation in the industry,” said Mr Macfarlane.

The Government has provided a decade of certainty for the automotive industry, tariffs will fall from 15 to 10 per cent in 2005 and then to 5 per cent in 2010.

To help the industry adjust to the lower tariff regime, the Government will provide a $4.2 billion extension to Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme (ACIS) over 10 years.

Media Contact: Kirsty Boazman, (02) 6277 7580, Mobile: 0412 171 444 Email: kirsty.boazman@industry.gov.au Web site: www.industry.gov.au