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Hello everyone, Private Fleet, its staff and contributors hope you all had a great Christmas/New Year’s period and the scales haven’t groaned too much!

Sadly, our roads were not trouble free, with too many losing their lives needlessly over the last couple of weeks with perhaps the most tragic the story of the four year old that apparently ran out in front of a vehicle. Without knowing the full details it seems that a situation such as this was utterly unavoidable in regards to the person driving the vehicle. Our sympathies and thoughts are with both families.police sign

So, what did YOU end up doing for your Christmas break? With two sub seven year old children and retail work it was a pretty quiet one for our household. Christmas Day at home, Boxing Day drive in Holden’s wonderful SV6 six speed manual down to just north of Wollongong with a stop Paraglidingat Stanwell Tops to watch the para- and hang gliders whilst New Year’s Day was a drive down to Botany Bay. A little bit of ham, a little bit of vege, a bit of wine….was a nice break. The roads were quiet, unsurprisingly but what was surprising was the relative lack of  a police presence seen. I think we saw more on the road leading into the Royal National Park from the south than at any other time.

As we all know by now, Holden has confirmed its cessation of manufacturing here; what isn’t known is where Toyota stand on the matter but it’s fair to say they’d be hard pressed to stay as a viable manufacturing entity in their own right and that leads to another whole set of issues. It’s not just about the workers directly involved, it’s the suppliers, their staff, courier driver and truck drivers and parts of the railway network that will all have some sort of impact upon their roles, even down to local shops and lunch bars. But with 68 brands available in Australia compared with 38 for North America and 42 in the UK, we have to question, with a population of under thirty million, why so many?

On the other side of the coin was the sales numbers; well over a million for 2013 with the Toyota Corolla Holden-VF-Commodore-SV6snaring first place. The Commodore came fifth on the back of increased sales from the VF range after a runout of the VE series 2, but of some concern in some quarters was the number of SUVs delivered, over 333, 000. Adding to the fragmentation and confusion though, is that not one SUV made the top ten sales list. For the record:  43,498 for the Corolla,  42,082 sales for the Mazda 3, 39,931 sales of Toyota’s HiLux,  30,582 for Hyundai’s award winning i30 , 27,766 for the VF/VE Holden Commodore , 24,860 with the Toyota Camry, 24,512 for Mitsubishi’s capable but aging Triton , 24,421 sales for Holden’s Cruze (due for an update in 2015 apparently), 24,108 for the Nissan Navara (new model available) and 21,752  for the Ford Ranger.

With 2014 underway and the FBT situation seemingly buried; repeat, seemingly and with predictions for sales this year to be in excess of the 2013 numbers, come have a chat to Private Fleet about your next vehicle. Again, hope you all had a great festive break and thanks for being part of the Private Fleet family.