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VFACTS: Mazda cracks 10,000 sales barrier

3 of the best: The Mazda3 led the sales pack in September, and now holds a slim lead over Toyota HiLux for the 2012 sales crown.

Mazda sales soar 67 per cent in its best-ever sales month as market breaks record

4 Oct 2012

MAZDA last month became the first full-line importer to sell more than 10,000 vehicles as it leap-frogged local manufacturer Holden into second place in record September sales.

The leading importer’s top-selling Mazda3 scored a record 4276 sales to top the vehicle sales charts, outpacing Toyota’s HiLux ute, not just for the month but also year to date.

While Mazda sales soared to 10,093 units – a whopping 67.2 per cent over last year’s September tally – Holden stumbled, with sales down 18.7 per cent to 8955 vehicles and third place.

The Holden decline was attributed almost entirely to its locally built models, the Commodore and Cruze, sales of which fell 31.8 per cent and 37.4 per cent respectively last month, to 2532 for the Commodore and 1951 for the Cruze.

This explains Holden’s move last week to clip production at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia over the next few months.

The overall market grew nine per cent in September to 94,627 – eclipsing the previous best September result of 86,819 units last year – as manufacturers chopped prices and offered cut-price financing to move metal.

106 center imageFrom top: Mazda2 Mazda CX-5 Holden Commodore Toyota HiLux.

With three quarters of 2012 gone, the market is running 9.4 per cent ahead of last year and well on track for a million-plus result.

Long-time leader Toyota maintained its sales crown, but because its 17,300 sales last month were line-ball with its September performance last year, it lost market share, down to from 20 per cent last September to 18.3 per cent.

Toyota’s HiLux achieved 3479 sales in September, meaning it now trails the current 2011 champion Mazda3 in the race for the best-selling car in 2012 – 31,064 to 31,439.

The Camry also made a positive contribution to the Toyota cause – up 10.6 per cent to 2267 units for the month, but the ageing Corolla that is about to be replaced on the Australian market lost ground, down 16.8 per cent to 3133 vehicles, and was not only outsold by the Mazda3 but also Hyundai’s i30 (3144).

Mazda’s September sales were inflated by its annual M Day sale, with special offers across most models.

Mazda’s previous best monthly sales tally was 9345 vehicles in March this year.

Mazda3 volumes rose 58.2 per cent over the corresponding month last year, while the smaller Mazda2 also starred, with sales jumping 45.9 per cent to 1801 units, making it a clear winner in the light car segment.

Mazda’s CX-5 medium SUV also crunched all comers in its segment, finding 1809 customers and a 21.9 per cent slice of the fast-growing segment that was up 26 per cent last month.

This gave Mazda a trifecta of victories in the hottest market segments – light cars, small cars and medium SUVs – and helped it to maintain its 18 per cent sales growth so far this year, which is double the average industry growth rate.

Fourth place in the September sales rankings went to Hyundai, whose 7815 sales represented a 4.1 per cent increase over September 2011.

Local car-maker Ford slid the other direction, down 4.9 per cent to 7764 units as its locally built Falcon large car and Territory SUV continued their downward trajectory.

Falcon sales floundered another 30.4 per cent, to 1188 units, while Territory slumped 21.4 per cent, to 1096 units.

Mercifully for Ford dealers, the Focus small car and Ranger SUV helped to take up the slack, with Focus sales doubling to 1687 units and Ranger achieving 1801 sales – up from 1364 in the same month last year.

Nissan sales climbed 5.7 per cent, to 6228 vehicles, while seventh-placed Mitsubishi reversed its downward trend of recent months and grew sales 20.9 per cent, to 5802 vehicles, with the arrival of fresh Lancer and ASX models.

Volkswagen maintained its position as Australia’s fastest-growing mainstream motor company, locking down eighth place with 4949 September sales, taking its year-to-date growth to 25 per cent.

Subaru’s new Impreza and the related XV small SUV both continue to help drive that company’s sales, with Subaru volumes up 28.3 per cent, to 3211 units.

Kia ousted Honda from the top 10 last month as its Optima medium car, new Rio and Sportage SUV all came on strong to give the South Korean importer 23.5 per cent sales growth for the month – in line with the company’s year-to-date rise.

Honda had 2472 sales in September, and while that was not sufficient to make it into the top 10, the tally represented a comeback of 34 per cent over the same month last year when the Japanese company was struggling with stock issues.

Australia’s love affair with SUVs shows no signs of waning, with sales of these boxy vehicles up 20.7 per cent in September, driven almost equally by growth in small and medium SUV sales.

Utes also continued to surge, with the popular 4x4 variety that can double as family cars zooming up almost 24 per cent for the month and 20.1 per cent for the year.

In contrast, large cars continued their plunge to oblivion, down another 27.5 per cent last month.

Top 10 Brands in September 2012
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