Toyota Motor Corp. Australia Ltd. passes 200,000 sales for the seventh consecutive year and remains the only auto maker in Australia to reach the annual milestone.

Sales and Marketing Senior Executive Director David Buttner says the target was achieved in the first half of the month.

Toyota began December with 193,778 units, needing just 6,222 to reach the mark.

“Toyota dealers have achieved a monthly sales average of 17,600 vehicles so far in 2010, so we believe they have already sold the 200,000th vehicle,” Buttner says in a statement.

“We expect the official sales results in early January to confirm Toyota as the market leader for the 14th time in the past 20 years, including the past eight in a row.”

Buttner says Toyota Australia is planning a quick start to 2011 with competitive marketing offers, including drive-away deals and low-interest financing.

The Australian new-vehicle market is expected to pass the 1 million mark well before Christmas, he says.

“We expect 2010 to be only the third year that national sales have topped 1 million, a remarkably speedy turnaround from the global financial crisis,” he says.

Buttner says industry sales this year in Australia are expected to be the second-biggest ever, coming in between the record 1,049,982 new vehicles sold in 2007 and 1,012,064 delivered in 2008. Last year, sales totaled 937,328.