Competition to heat up in car market

Competition to heat up in car market

Competition is set to heat up in Australia’s car industry, following Japanese car maker Toyota announcing a roll out of new car models over the next 18 months.

Toyota Australia has confirmed that five new models will be introduced over the next year-and-a-half. The announcement was made just days before the car maker opened the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

The first car to be rolled out will be the 2012 Yaris light car, which is on sale in Japan and should hit showrooms in the third quarter of this year. For the driver that needs towing and moving space, the Toyotal Hilux has had a makeover and will be reportedly on the market in September.

The new features of the Hilux include:

- New headlight design and bumper bars

- A slicker grille

- Updated quarter panels and bonnet scoop.

Other features rumoured to be added to the top-selling pickup include electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes as standard.

Toyota’s hybrid range will expand in 2012 with the new Prius V wagon, which is expected to cater for the family-sized households with more storage and passenger space up to seven seats.

And for the other end of the people movers, a compact city car called Prius C concept will go into production next year. It’s promised to be the cheapest hybrid and a big competitor of the Honda Insight hybrid valued at $29,990.

Toyota has hit all types of car markets, with the last of the five new models a sports car update – the FT-86 sports coupe – also due to hit the road mid-2012.

With this latest wave of new cars by Toyota to enter the market, and some with promised competitive price points, there’s no doubt that many drivers will be in a frenzy when trying to decide their next set of wheels.

While this could be the help that Australia’s car market needs to pick up the pace with other countries’ car markets, drivers need to be careful with choosing the right car loan for their next car purchase. Car loans can range dramatically in interest rates and fees, for instance, new car loans can range from 8.69 percent up to over 16 percent according to a quick search on RateCity (based on a $30,000 loan over five years).

There’s no point in bargaining hard to save on your car if the extra money you save will be wasted on interest and fees by not shopping around for the right car loan. So make sure you make your next car purchase worth the effort and you could end up saving on fuel, the initial outlay as well as interest on the car loan.

In the market for a new car? Check out Australia's Best Value Cars.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!