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(Click here to view TOYOTA SALES RESULTS 2008 PRESS KIT)

The Australian arm of Toyota defied global trends to establish an all-time industry sales record in 2008.

Toyota Australia delivered 238,983 vehicles - 2,336 more than its previous record set in the boom sales year of 2007.

It finished the year 108,645 vehicles ahead of its nearest rival - the first time the gap had exceeded 100,000.

The result affirms customer acceptance of the Toyota brand and its vehicles.

Toyota senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the company and its vehicles had become increasingly relevant in Australia.

He said the sales results reflected the trust placed in them by consumers.

"It is not possible to overstate the importance of a large-volume car maker demonstrating its commitment to the market," Mr Buttner said.

"Toyota's strong investment in local manufacturing - and its commitment to its sales network and their customers - provides a level of confidence to everyone in the supply chain.

"In the past few months, the fact that our finance arm, Toyota Financial Services, is Triple-A rated, has provided substantial assurance."

Mr Buttner said the true test in 2008 came in the strength of demand for Toyota vehicles in the second half of the year, when the economy was coming off the boil.

"Monthly average sales for Toyota in the second half were in excess of 18,590 compared with 19,900 for the year, indicating high levels of customer support."

Mr Buttner said Toyota was approaching 2009 with enthusiasm and cautious optimism.

Toyota would launch several new models which would stimulate market demand, and was in preparation for its 2010 launch of Australia's first locally manufactured hybrid car, the Camry.

In 2008 Toyota led nine of the 12 VFACTS vehicle sales categories in which it participated.

It led passenger-car, SUV and light-commercial vehicle categories.

Both its Corolla and HiLux models had been outright monthly market leaders for a cumulative four months.

"The market is by no means in universal decline," Mr Buttner said.

"Toyota's medium and large SUVs, and our HiAce bus and vans and HiLux 4x4, have all recorded substantial gains in demand over the previous sales year.

"Toyota Corolla has proven its appeal by ending the year as Australia's second most in-demand vehicle, achieving an all-time record."

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2008 Toyota Range - Toyota Australia establishes an industry sales record.