News - VFACTS - Sales 2013

VFACTS: Australia has a new favourite car

Off the throne: The Mazda3 has been ousted as the top-selling car in Australia so far this year by its Toyota Corolla arch rival.

Toyota Corolla ousts Mazda3 as yearly sales leader as market tracks at record levels

VFACTS logo5 Jun 2013


AUSTRALIA has a new most popular car, with the Toyota Corolla overtaking the Mazda3 as the year-to-date sales leader after a bumper May result.

VFACTS figures released today show Toyota racked up 3640 new registrations for Corolla last month, which brings its YTD tally at the end of May to 16,774 units.

This puts Corolla up 10.2 per cent on last year and now 369 units clear of the Mazda3, which has been unable to maintain its record sales pace. It managed 3054 sales last month but that was 7.1 per cent off May last year, and YTD Mazda’s small hero car is down 8.3 per cent.

But neither small car led the field for the month of May, with Toyota’s HiLux utility taking top spot with 3665 sales, which sees it closing in on 16,000 sales for the year thus far and in a strong position to challenge for outright leadership in the second half of the year.

Away from the battle for small-car honours and the market-leading model, the serious action was in the small and compact SUV markets (now classified ‘small’ and ‘medium’ by VFACTS), with Australia’s love of high-riding softies continuing to grow unabated.

Sales were up by 18.3 per cent and 22.1 per cent in each segment respectively against May 2012, with the Hyundai ix35 (1770) and Mazda CX-5 (1773) both extending their overall lead.

In fact, it was strong SUV sales that kept the Australian new-vehicle market in the positive compared to May last year, since both passenger car and light commercial sales fell 3.1 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Total sales for the month were 96,788 units, up 0.7 per cent on May 2012 and taking the annual tally to 454,953 sales (up 4.5 per cent). At this rate, the market will exceed last year’s record of 1.12 million sales.

106 center imageFrom top: Hyundai ix35, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota HiLux

Other interesting trends included the continued fall in diesel-powered passenger car sales, both private (down 11.3 per cent) and fleet (down 22.8 per cent), while sharp drops were also seen in both government and rental sales across the board.

Notwithstanding a 7.0 per cent drop in sales for the month, Toyota maintained its dominance as the market leader with 19,003 monthly sales, which places it lineball with last year with just shy of 84,000 sales YTD (down 0.5 per cent).

Holden took back second place in May with 8293 sales, narrowly ahead of Mazda (8135), Hyundai (8027) and Ford (7293).

Rounding out the top 10 was Mitsubishi (7011 sales, up 36.0 per cent), Nissan (5928), Volkswagen (5527), Honda (3625) and Subaru (3612).

It was again a gloomy month for Australian-made cars, with Toyota’s Camry the only model showing growth compared to May last year. Camry sales were up 4.5 per cent to 1934 units, enough to give it a mammoth 38.3 per cent of the entire sub-$60K medium-car segment.

All other locally made cars fell, including the Holden Cruze (2133 sales, down 25.4 per cent), Ford Territory SUV (1139 sales, down 11.0 per cent) and Toyota Aurion (632 sales, down 36.5 per cent).

It too early to tell what impact Ford’s announcement that it will close its plants here in 2016 will have on Falcon sales, but the company’s decision was underlined by a meagre 707 units rolling out of showroom doors last month – down 39.9 per cent.

Holden’s runout VE Commodore was also down 34.7 per cent to 1647 units, but expect a boost from the new VF, which went on sale June 1.

Despite the slight drops in overall passenger sales, there were still some notable performers. For instance, the Hyundai i20 stormed to the top of the light-car market in May thanks to monthly sales growth of 165.4 per cent over last year (1282).

The Toyota 86 extended its lead as Australia’s sportscar of choice with 582 sales, giving it almost twice as many sales for the year as its nearest rival – the Hyundai Veloster.

In the luxury race, the BMW 3 Series narrowly shaded the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (528 sales to 523 – both up on the same month last year). But the Silver Arrows got its own back in the premium-small segment, with the A-Class (301 sales) and B-Class (372 sales) topping all comers.

Notable losers in the passenger market included the Honda Jazz (down 45.8 per cent), Suzuki Alto (down 59.0 per cent), Subaru Impreza (down 52.1 per cent), Mitsubishi Lancer (down 46.5 per cent), Honda Accord Euro (down 81.6 per cent) and Ford Mondeo (down 33.5 per cent).

It wasn’t just the ix35 and CX-5 that performed well in the SUV market, with the Audi Q3 the most popular premium small-SUV with 255 sales (up 59.4 per cent). Audi also had the most popular medium SUV, with its Q5 beating both the BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque with 296 sales.

Toyota’s venerable Prado was again the most popular large SUV (1499 sales), narrowly ahead of the Territory and Holden Captiva.

Other notable performers included the Jeep Patriot (up 46.1 per cent), Ford Kuga (up 457.1 per cent thanks to the launch of a more affordable new-generation model) and Hyundai Santa Fe (up 20.6 per cent).

But perhaps the most surprising performer was the new Mitsubishi Outlander, with 1652 sales (up 195.5 per cent) catapulting it to second place in its segment behind the CX-5. It was also the third most popular SUV of any stripe, behind the Mazda and Hyundai ix35.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s closest rival in the ute market was the Mitsubishi Triton, with 2606 units sold on the back of strong discounts – presumably at the expense of the traditional bridesmaid, the Nissan Navara, which saw a drop in 4x4 sales of 38.4 per cent.

Top 10 Brands in May 2013
Rank Brand Sales % Movement
1 Toyota 19,003 -7.0
2 Holden 8,293 -8.0
3 Mazda 8,135 -2.5
4 Hyundai 8,027 16.6
5 Ford 7,243 -6.4
6 Mitsubishi 7,011 36.0
7 Nissan 5,928 -14.9
8 Volkswagen 5,527 16.6
9 Honda 3,625 16.8
10 Subaru 3,612 -5.0
Most Popular Models in May 2013
Toyota HiLux 3665
Toyota Corolla 3640
Mazda3 3054
Mitsubishi Triton 2606
Hyundai i30 2512
Holden Cruze 2133
Toyota Camry 1934
Mazda CX-5 1773
Hyundai ix35 1770
Ford Ranger 1702

Read more

Share with your friends

VFACTS articles

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.