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Toyota unassailable

On target: Toyota's new Aurion found almost 1550 new homes in November.

Aussie sales leader shirks large-car and SUV downturn to continue its 2006 dominance

Toyota logo5 Dec 2006


WITH Toyota's market dominance for the year all but sewn up courtesy of a 61,190-vehicle sales lead to November, all interest has swung to the performance of its key rivals, GM Holden and Ford.

As the year winds up, Holden will claim the number two with Ford secure in third, but their fortunes have been dented by the arrival of several newcomers and the continuing downturn in the large car segment.

To November, Ford's overall market share is down from 13.1 per cent last year to 12.1 per cent, following slower November sales of both Falcon (3447 sales versus 5064 for the same month last year) and Territory (1339 v 2224 – 40 per cent down).

It's a similar story at Holden, whose market share to November has shrunk from 17.8 per cent last year to just 15.2 per cent in 2006. Commodore sales remain well down on 2005 levels, with 5238 sold in November – down 0.7 per cent from 5276 in November 2005.

Holden's new Captiva SUV contributed 554 sales in November, for a year-to-date total of 947, while Astra and Vectra sales plummeted last month.

But while Ford and Holden sales were down 19.8 and 11.5 per cent respectively last month, Toyota experienced a 13.5 per cent lift in November, when it sold 20,247 vehicles for the month - 7500 more than its nearest rival, Holden.

Holden Special Vehicles had a solid month with 515 sales last month, a new record for the high performance car company.

"This is an outstanding result and further confirmation of the impact the new E Series range is having on the Australian and New Zealand markets," said HSV managing director Phil Harding.

"Nearly 70 per cent of November retail deliveries were for the new Clubsport R8, GTS and Senator Signature models and we also recorded very strong sales of the HSV VXR in November," he said.

With almost 1000 HSV deliveries in the past two months, the company should finish 2006 strongly with more than 3500 sales.

HSV's arch-rival Ford Performance Vehicles sold 199 vehicles in November to post its second record sales month in succession. With 1998 sedans and utes sold so far this year, FPV has already beaten its all-time annual sales record of 1930.

The Blue Oval go-fast brand expects around 185 sales in December, meaning it will sell well over 2000 vehicles in 2006 – a year in which it posted record first, second and fourth quarter results.

 center image Left: HSV E Series.

The Japanese marques of Mazda and Honda managed a good result in November, each holding on to fourth and five sales spots on the ladder behind Toyota, Holden and Ford.

As expected, Toyota's Camry experienced some substitution with the arrival of the new 200kW V6 Aurion.

Toyota sold 2561 Camry fours last month – down from a running rate of about 3000 - and 1543 Aurions, which went on sale from November 1.

Toyota's small cars also performed strongly last month, with 2812 Yaris models sold and the Corolla cementing its small car star with 3899 sold.

Hybrid interest was also maintained with 231 examples of the Prius sold last month, while the HiLux range continues to go from strength to strength, partly on the back of the commodities boom in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Last month, the company sold 1865 4x4 HiLuxes and 1636 4x2 models, while the Prado managed 1168 sales and RAV4 attracted 1076 sales, While RAV4 sales have outstripped 2005 levels so far this year, Kluger sales have slumped even more than that of Prado. Toyota sold just 450 examples last month (down from 566 in November 2005), to be 30.3 per cent down for the year (with 4628 sold).

Mitsubishi's 380 managed a bold recovery in November, when 1070 were sold (down 35.2 per cent on the 1650 sales it attracted the month after its launched in October 2005).

Lancer and Triton continue to be the company's solid performers, with 1502 Lancers sold and 692 Triton 4x4s finding buyers. The new Pajero also managed a strong month, with 243 sales.

Nissan's Navara 4x4 also had a good month with 1240 sold, up 136 per cent on the back of strong diesel sales, while the Tiida again slumped with about 863 hatches and sedans sold.

Overall, November was line-ball with the same month last year, when 241 extra vehicles were sold. While the passenger car market was down 901 vehicles or 1.7 per cent on the same month last year, SUV sales rose by a similar number (941, or 6.6 per cent) and the light truck market fell by 372 sales or 2.7 per cent.

On a year-to-date basis, 885,603 vehicle sales sees the 2006 market running below the 2005 industry by 2.6 per cent or 23,389 vehicles, with the overall market looking set to deliver 965,000 sales for the year.

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