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Finally, Toyota’s Corolla gets to number one

Number one: The Toyota Corolla was again Australia’s top-seller ahead of the Mazda3, with 3315 deliveries last month.

Corolla pips Mazda3 to give Toyota the best-selling car crown for the first time

3 Jan 2014

PERENNIAL market leader Toyota finally appears to have scored one of the few achievements to elude it in years of Australian automotive industry sales domination: the top-selling car in the country.

The Japanese giant’s Corolla small car was the number-one selling vehicle in Australia in 2013, pipping the reigning champ, the Mazda3, by about 1400 units in a race that went down to the wire in December to cap what is expected to be another record year of automotive sales for the industry.

Official VFACTS sales figures to be released on Monday are expected to confirm that Corolla was one of six segment leaders for Toyota, which wrapped up 2013 with more than 200,000 sales to post its 11th consecutive year at number one (and 17th in total) and ninth year above 200,000 in the past decade.

In all that time, Toyota has never managed to claim the bragging rights for Australia’s favourite car, with large cars such as Holden’s long-time champion, the Commodore, Ford’s Falcon and, in the past two years, the Mazda3, edging out Toyota’s Corolla, HiLux and Camry every time until now.

But with a full year of sales for the new Corolla hatch under its belt, Toyota finally managed to get its global best-seller across the line, despite a strong last-hurrah December by Mazda3.

106 center imageLeft: Mazda3

In the final year of its current model life ahead of an all-new model due in showrooms this month, Mazda3’s sales slipped about 4.5 per cent over the course of 2013 to about 42,000 units, while Corolla’s volume grew about 12 per cent to about 43,500.

Industry sources suggest Holden sales edged marginally lower again in 2013, continuing a two-decade slide, despite the arrival in the second half of the year of the new VF Commodore which is believed to have slipped to fifth position behind the Hyundai i30 hatch.

However, Holden still managed to hold second place overall behind Toyota and ahead of Mazda and, in fourth place, a fast-growing Hyundai.

Although the overall industry sales figures will not be known until the official VFACTS figures are released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) on Monday, industry pundits are confident that, based on December’s strong sales result, 2013 sales should comfortably eclipse 2012’s record 1,112,032 units.

This would make it the fourth year in a row of million-plus sales and the sixth time the industry has achieved the landmark since it was first done in 2007.

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