ECONOMY

Car sales hit the gas during 2007

Last year proved to be the best of the last three in the local car market, with sales rising by 4.5 percent from 2006. In absolute figures, sales in 2007 reached 279,794 units, up from 267,706 units in 2006. If December 2007 had not registered a 17 percent annual decline, then the total rise would have been even greater. The sales chart has Toyota once again on top; the Japanese carmaker has increased its sales in Greece by 8.6 percent, reaching 27,701 units. It was followed by Opel, which jumped from fifth to second with a rise of 28.5 percent to 23,325 cars sold. Volkswagen was third with a rise of 3.8 percent to 22,056 cars, ahead of Ford and Hyundai (19,059 and 17,282 sales respectively). The biggest rise in percentage terms last year was for Daihatsu and Mini, with the former climbing 56 percent to reach 5,992 sales and the latter soaring by 62.5 percent to 1,718 sales. The biggest decline was for Renault (43.5 percent) to 4,615 sales from 8,162 in 2006. In luxury cars, Porsche gained 14 percent, speeding up to 488 units, while the most preferred car in this category was the Opel Corsa with a 12.05 percent share of the market (9,687 sales). Last year 372,892 new cars came onto the roads, an increase of 3.8 percent over 2006. In 2006, there had been a 0.9 percent rise from 2005. New motorcycles (over 50cc) have posted an ever bigger increase, 12.7 percent, riding to 103,879 units from 92,183 motorcycles in 2006.