Tweed?s car sales above par

By BYRON MOORE

TWEED retailers are bucking state trends of declining car sales, reporting consistent figures and some increases on last year's sales.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show car sales in NSW have slumped 5.3 per cent on the same period last year - a greater drop than the national average.

NSW Shadow Minister for Finance Peta Seaton claimed the continuing decline in car sales showed the state economy had stalled under Premier Iemma, who has struggled to kickstart the state's economic growth.

But in apparent defiance of statewide trends, Tweed dealers say their sales are just as good if not better than last year's results.

Phil Torty, the dealership manager of Tweed Hyundai, said their figures are favourable in compari- son to last year.

"We haven't noticed a downturn this first quarter because our main product, which are Hyundais, have been pretty consistent."

"There's even an increase in sales in the Volkswagen and Chrysler market which may be because of the demographic here in the Tweed, with a lot of retirees around," Mr Torty said.

The ABS data shows 2,870 fewer cars were sold in NSW over February and March this year compared with last year.

But local dealers remain optimistic and Rodney Tranter of Grand Motors Ford in Tweed Heads predicts growth in the new-car market.

"Retail is as good as last year and I see no reason why it should drop off," he said. "New models are coming in, which could stimulate growth as well."



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