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The Australian automotive industry enjoyed its strongest month of the year in March, with sales up 13,000 units compared with February and more than 20,000 higher than a subdued January.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 93,984 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in March 2011, down 0.8 percent (760 vehicles) compared with March 2010.

The Holden Commodore maintained its position on the top of the sales charts, narrowly holding off the Toyota HiLux.

It took the Ford Falcon’s best sales month of 2011 to hang on to the top 10, while the popularity of the Holden Cruze continued to grow, cementing its position in the top five.

Top 10 sales by model (Q1):

  1. Holden Commodore – 4170 (10,644)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 4028 (9411)
  3. Mazda3 – 3979 (11,159)
  4. Toyota Corolla – 3067 (9712)
  5. Holden Cruze – 2804 (7446)
  6. Nissan Navara – 2575 (6586)
  7. Hyundai i30 – 2376 (6705)
  8. Mitsubishi Triton – 1978 (4496)
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer – 1749 (4980)
  10. Ford Falcon – 1719 (4448)

With the first three months of the year down, the first quarter results tell an interesting story. Although it has never topped the charts for any particular month, the Mazda3 has been the most consistent seller this year and leads the Commodore by 515 units as Australia’s most popular car.

From a brand perspective, Toyota continues to dominate. Ford climbed back above Mazda into third position for March, and is now just 170 units short of the podium year-to-date.

Nissan was the bolter in the group however, selling 2196 more cars than in February to overtake Hyundai into the top five.

Top 10 sales by marque (Q1):

  1. Toyota – 18,466 (47,887)
  2. Holden – 10,816 (29,515)
  3. Mazda – 8039 (22,883)
  4. Ford – 8698 (22,713)
  5. Nissan – 7789 (18,258)
  6. Hyundai – 7126 (20,143)
  7. Mitsubishi – 5656 (15,311)
  8. Subaru – 3901 (10,731)
  9. Volkswagen – 3228 (8758)
  10. Honda – 2634 (7446)

Of the top 10 marques, sales of Ford (3.4 percent), Mazda (8.4 percent), Nissan (19.3 percent), Mitsubishi (4.7 percent), Subaru (5.0 percent) and Volkswagen (4.6 percent) increased in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period last year.

Toyota (-7.3 percent), Holden (-11.8 percent), Hyundai (-5.0 percent) and Honda (-27.4 percent) lost ground compared with Q1 2010.

Dualis has been the big winner for Nissan, with sales more than doubling compared with the start of last year. X-Trail and Navara 4×4 have also significantly outperformed 2010.

Mazda’s strong numbers are courtesy of the popularity of the Mazda2, Mazda3 and BT-50 models. All other vehicles in the range have lost volume so far this year.

The story is reversed at Ford, where the Falcon, Falcon Ute and Ranger 4×2 are the only models to lose ground in 2011. Sales of Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Escape and Ranger have all increased between 25.3 and 95.4 percent.

Falcon sales are 39.3 percent below the same time last year (4448 vs 7328), and it appears Ford may still have a fight on its hands to deliver 20,000 Falcons for 2011. It will have to average 1728 sales per month for the rest of the year to reach that mark. Last year, Ford sold 29,516 Falcons.

Toyota’s first quarter results have been mixed. Corolla, LandCruiser and RAV4 were all up marginally, while Aurion and Camry were down 20.2 and 21.7 percent respectively. Yaris has also lost 17 percent, while the Prius is screaming out for a price reduction with just 167 sold so far this year, down from 460 in Q1 2010.

The Cruze has been the shining light for Holden with 1028 extra sales year-to-date giving it a 16 percent sales increase. Commodore has dropped 6.3 percent and sales of the Ute are down 24.3 percent. Captiva sales slowed 31.2 percent in anticipation of the refreshed model, while the combination of the Barina and Barina Spark has not been able to match the performance of the Barina in Q1 2010, with 2889 total sales trailing last year’s 3884.

Small and light cars have made up 48.1 percent of the total Australian new vehicle market in the first quarter of 2011. Half of the vehicles in the top 20 for March were light or small cars.

March was also an enormous month for the pick-up/cab chassis segment, with HiLux, Navara and Triton all in the top 10 and Ranger creeping up into 13th overall.

A few new vehicles entered the data for the first time in March 2011. The following data counts the vehicles registered in March (including press vehicles and pre-orders):

  • Audi A7 Sportback – 48
  • Chery J1 – 53
  • Chery J11 – 166
  • Lexus CT 200h – 223
  • Saab 9-5 – 5
  • Toyota FJ Cruisers – 209

  • F1MotoGP

    Mazda is No1 in first quarter. Well done. IN 5 years time there will be no 6 cyl cars unless they improve on fuel economy. Today “small cars” not small anymore. Corolla 4554mm long! 20 years ago difference was much bigger between big and small cars

    • Doctor

      Yes, an EH Holden was 177.6 inches (4511 mm) overall.

      • Dave S

        Firstly. The EH was a great car, but it was always a size down on its main rival the Falcon. It was not until the larger Kingswood came along that Holden had a full size car.

        Secondly. Small cars are gaining so much weight, they almost weight as much as an old full size car (the currect Corollas weigh around the same as early Commodores.

        Lastly. Its great to compare length of old cars vs new small cars. The big difference is the width. Compare the width of a current small car to a HQ. The HQ will be much nice to sit in.

  • Byron

    Congratulations to Commodore, for being able to stay above the rising petrol prices & small car competition. Cruze was only 250 sales or so behind Corolla too & Cruze is sedan only remember 😀 Go HOLDEN!!!

    • eskylid

      mazda 3 is 515 sales ahead of commodore this financial year?!! year after year commodore sales are in decline, you sound like holdens advertising that admittedly is doing a great of diverting attention away from this.

      • Joker

        Byron frequents posts on CA regarding Holden and posts such as the above :)seldom do they not end with “go holden”

        • Byron

          I’m entitled to my own opinion & so are you, so stop making a huge thing about it.

          • Joker

            Just an observation I made. :)
            Nothing wrong with your opinion either.

    • julian

      dont know why you got a so many negatives for you stated a simple fact. commodore has been australias best selling family car for the last 12 years!!!they sell more v8s then anyone else and hsv is doing well as well.i drive a 6.0 liter wm caprice and i wouldnt trade it for any of the puss boxes the wimps on here yap on about. F1moto thinks a corolla is a big car lol give me break. hop in the back of my caprice mate then youll know what a big car is. give me a ballsy holden anyday…..

  • Doctor

    I would like to see a breakdown of the sales for the Pick-up/CC segment – clearly it a growth segment. I’ll bet that 2WDs have lost ground and 4WDs have gained over 2010.

  • Shak

    Surprising to see the Barins result considering that the old model on its own outsold a a combined new model Spark and old model Barina approach.

  • Scooty

    The corolla feels more space(y) then commodore..

    • Chili Dog

      I thought I told you NOT to eat that pill you found on the ground.

  • Eric

    Mazda 3 customers are smiling. And buying and smiling some more. :)

    • julian

      plenty of smiles for mazda 3 driver…..once they get their false teeth in…

  • http://Mazda Daniel D

    Shak spacious is the word you were looking for.

    Mazda need to do something about the 6 to make it more sporty and attractive to private buyers.

    Ford need to start either offering more content in Falcon or lowering prices. Even when LPG comes back they will be struggling to make up the downfall in sales this year.

    FPV’s supercharged V8’s are a fantastic engine, but the cars are woefully overpriced for the amount of kit in them.

    Finally Holden are always surprising me with their sales. Sure the Commodore is mostly a fleet car, but they keep on selling them when really the car has had the most mild of facelifts in a number of years. While not a bad car, they must be excellent value at fleet prices, is all I can figure.


    • Shak

      Sorry, i wasnt looking for any word. I think your comment should be directed at Scooty.

      However i disagree with you rcomments on the Mazda 6. It is quite sporty for what is essnetially a Mid-sized family car. It is also very attractive to private buyers judging it against its main comnpetitor the Euro.

      On the Falcon, i think prices are already as low as they can get, and if the public dont see the excellent value on hand, they are stupid.

      Agree on the FPV front. Gauging by sales and actual content, the HSV stable have elcisped them in both kit and value now.

      • Gimp

        Mazda 6 petrol is under-powered, the 5-speed auto outdated and there is no auto gearbox for the diesel engine.

        • Phil

          @Gimp, The Mazda 6 Petrol has more power than Ford Mondeo, Toyota Camry, Libery 2.0/2.5 and Holden Epica.

          Whats outdated with the petrol\’s 5 speed auto.

          Why would you want a Autobox in what is supposed to be a fuel efficient car (Auto increases fuel economy)? Are you inept at changing gears yourself?

          • Gimp

            So according to you, if someone wants an auto they can’t change gears? Great logic there!

            Don’t get me wrong, the 6 is a great car, but put a family of 4 in it and it is under-powered.

            As for your statement “Auto increases fuel economy” that’s nonsense. Modern autos (unlike the old 5-speed Mazda Oz still put in the 6) can be as efficient as or more so than the manual.

            Honda Accord Euro is one example. Fuel economy for the auto is the same as the manual.

            As for the Liberty 2.5 which you’ve quoted, the fuel consumption combined (l/100km) for the manual is 8.9. For the Auto it’s 8.4. The Auto is more fuel efficient.

    • Phil

      If you drove a Mazda 6 or even read on reviews on it, you\\\’d find it was one of, if not the most sporty car in its class for handling/steering.
      Also, unlike several competitors, it is avaliable with a manual gearbox – which Mazda 6 buyers actually make use of (Unlike Camry which offers a manual gearbox but no a single camry buyer chooses it).

      Ford needs to lower prices on Falcon? Pick up the car section of any major newspaper and you\’ll see page upon page from Ford dealers advertising heavily discounted brand new Falcons. $10,000 discounts are not uncommon. I doubt there is a single Falcon buyer who pays full price.

      • Beaves NQ

        As far as I’m aware Phil, the Camry and the Aurion only come with autos.

        • Phil

          I never mentioned the Aurion.

          Camry IS avaliable in manual, however as I said, basically no camry buyers get it.

  • alexander

    I didn’t think the Cruze would sell that well when it was first launched, but it seems to be doing very well considering the Aussie version hasn’t been released yet and the hatch is still a while off. Possibly once the new variants are launched it may take over the Mazda 3?

  • Sung

    The Corolla is basically a 5yr old car! Imagine what will happen once the next gen rolls..

    • Shak

      Im assuming much the same judging by the fact that all of Toyota’s range is getting well on in years now.

    • julian

      yeah it will be just as boring as the last…

  • Sonic

    “Chery J1 – 53
    Chery J11 – 166″

    This is a very worrying fact. Are these Chery sales just in WA alone?

    • Shak

      Cant be, i saw two yesterday in Fairfield, with NSW plates. Just goews to show, people vote with their wallets. If they didnt, we wouldnt have Toyota on top.

      • Sung

        I’m disapointed by Volkswagen..

        • Shak

          How so? Yes they are a bit overpriced, but i guess the journos have a role to pay in their sales. EVerytime a VW is reviewed, the reviwers swoon over it llike the second coming.

          • Sung

            Actually Honda is truly disapointing.. In the United states Honda are in the top 5..

          • Sung

            But i don’t even like VW, i think they’re very overrated..

          • Shak

            I actually agree on all counts. Honda is now like TOyota, living off of a borrowed reputation.

          • Jon

            Actually, Honda are number 2 this month in the US. I wonder why they do so poorly in Aust.
            Passenger car sales for USA in March 2011:
            TOYOTA 85,784
            HONDA 76,251
            FORD 75,218
            CHEVROLET 72,593
            NISSAN 71,618
            HYUNDAI 50,992
            KIA 26,533
            VOLKSWAGEN 23,580
            DODGE 22,691
            MAZDA 19,808

          • Shak

            Sorry shane, wrong wording, I was trying to get at the fact that they WERE great, but now they just feel like a Toyota clone.

          • Stoney!

            Cause they truly are an awesome drive and great value for their money.

      • Sonic

        Ahh… so they’re sold in the Eastern states too. I must have been thinking of Geely, who I think are only currently sold in WA.

    • nickdl

      I think it’s Geely in WA only, Chery in all states except VIC. Not too sure though, they all look the same to me…

      • matt

        yeah chery is everywhere, seen a few J11’s around brisbane already, noticed more of them then mazda 2 sedans 😛

  • Sung

    Toyota are very good, they are extremely reliable though.. When i say reliable i mean working smoothly over 250000km

    • Phil

      What does smoothness over 250,000km have to do with reliability?

      The moment a unreliable car reaches 250,000km, its engine suddenly becomes rough?

      • Stoney!

        Camry’s get suspension and steering problem very early in life, thats hardly reliable.

  • DR

    Hahahhahaaa i like how all the pro-Toyota comments get rated down

    It shows how fearful all you bogans are, Falcon and Commodore cars from the stone age..

    • http://Telsa paulb

      Hey DR,the Hilux is a awsome vechle.Toyota a great company,but people i know who own 4.0 V6 pertol hilux.Do nothing but complain about the horrible fuel economy

      • Stoney!

        and lack of brakes

    • T

      Not really. Why do we get the new Corolla body shape but the old suspension and engines, where as the rest of the developed world gets the new technology? I am by no means a Holden or Ford fan but anyone who actually believes we get the best technology here in Australia needs to wake up.

      • F1MotoGP

        I believe we got the best technology here not before 2006 when out fuel was bad compered to European or Japanese still not the best but very close. Corolla is same in EU only difference is they got the hybrid.

  • http://Telsa paulb

    Well done Commodore,with soaring fuel prices.Thats a great effot.Falcon without LPG is going ok,they will easily smash the 30,000 figure quoted in article when LPI added mid year.

    • Ron R

      I agree – But even the current petrol falcon uses less fuel than the Commodore in the real world

      • Stoney!


    • http://Telsa paulb

      I meant easily smash 20,000 closer to 30,000 for Falcon

    • Phil

      Actually the figure quoted was 20,000 and remember that’s Falcons WORLDWIDE sales figures.

      It’s impossible for Falcon to compete profitabilty with just 20,0000 cars being produced from TWO factorys which are then mostly sold on with heavy fleet discounts (and even the private sales have to be heavily discounted).
      On the other side, Falcon competitors are putting out 10 times that production from a single factory and selling them to cashed up private buyers with minimal discounts.

      Don’t call it a “great effort” untill Ford Australia is turning a profit WITHOUT government assistance. That won’t happen untill Ford can actually produce about 100,000+ Falcons and sell them with only minimal discounts.

      • http://Telsa paulb

        Its great that we have the Aurion,Commodore+ Falcon in AU.LPG Phil,can bring large volumes back.On top of our already massine Gas reserves,Santos in the Carnavon Basin today just found another massive gas discovery…

        • Phil

          Even if there were a increase in LPG cars, who’s to say it will go to Aurion/Commodore/Falcon? Other cars can run on LPG you know and private consumers have clearly indicated they are not interested in Large sedans anymore.

          What exactly is great about having those 3 cars here anyway? They chew up $Billions in tax payer funded subsidys due to their unprofitable operations from poor sales/lack of exports.
          They’re bad for the environment due to their appalling emmissions and fuel consumption.
          With no wagon option in Falcon/Aurion, they’re impractical as a family car, too big for a runabout and too heavy for a sports car.

          • http://Telsa paulb

            Phil the Aussie manufactures have such a head start on there competitors with LPG technology.Do agree on Aurion+Falcon stationwagon.
            Local protection for manufacturing is a world wide event.The Japanese+German+Malaysian are the most protected of the car industrys


    Honda and Toyota selling well here or USA but Europe..Germany best selling Japanese car is on 24th Nissan Qashqai than Honda Jazz 31th, Toyota Yaris 42nd. France again Nissan Qashqai is best selling Japanese 27th, UK again Nissan Qashqai top Japanese 9th and Italy same 14th.

    • MF

      European think their cars are better, so Jap cars dont sell well there.

      But in other parts of the worlds the Japanese cars actually sell a lot better than European cars combined. 1 nation (Japan) vs several Euro nations (Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, UK, Spain etc.).

      I dont think the Japanese are doing that poorly hey?

  • Snoopy

    The Lexus LS is now the 2nd best selling flagship full size luxury car in the world after the superlative Mercedes S-class


    The Lexus LS flagship from Lexus (Toyota) has overtaken BMW 7 series and Audi A8 and is a mere 10000 units behind the S-class..

    • F1MOTOGP

      Where you get this info?

      • Snoopy

        I just googled the quotes, the LS has always been the top seller in the states, but since 2007 the Lexus LS has been sold world wide and it has overtaken 7 series and A8 and neck and neck with the S-class.. I was recentley in Kuwait and let me tell you you see the LS everywhere..

        • F1MOTOGP

          Lovely car! I would pick the LS not the other 3 Germans.

          • Snoopy

            Yeah have you ever seen the LS460 in real life? It has such an amazing presence, very sophisticated and the 4.6L V8 is unbelivebly silent..

    • filippo

      Yes but in the US Lexus have gone for complete market saturation. They would practically put a Lexus badge on a Yaris or a Hilux if it had leather seats.

      In Europe Lexus sell very poorly. On paper they are always rated as equal or even superior to their German competition, however the sense of prestige just isn’t there.

      • Phil

        Can you direct us to some of those papers?

        I have never seen a comparison where a Lexus was rated superior to it’s comparees.

        • Suung

          I used to hate Lexus, but once I saw the LS460 it changed my heart, it’s such an amazingly designed car, has a very sophisticated presence that isn’t flashy at the same time.. It’s one of those cars that their design will never get old.. The new 7 series is just flashy and it’s already old..

          The Lexus is a women in a very classy dress..

          Where as BMW is a whore( sure very flashy) but you get over it very quickly

          And the interior I won’t even mention

          • Stoney!

            with cheap ass Toyota parts all over it.. I was disgusted at the door hinges on such an expensive car. Didn’t even have different opening positions like my golf. Just open and closed

  • Valet Dabess

    type in toyota underwater in youtube and (should be the first video) there’s a video of a landcruiser driving underwater. seriously i was just like damn..

  • Goodfa

    Cruze will be outselling Commodore by the end of the year.

  • nickdl

    Nissan are really creeping up the ranks and rightfully so. Their plan to be the biggest selling importer seems to be working. All they need now is the US Maxima and a decent small car, preferably with a Pulsar badge.

  • shortspan

    How come none of use say anthing about Hyundai. Its anyway the fastest growing car company, something like that. So much better than Kia. Kia is really ugly German design car.

    • MF

      Because hyundai isnt worth mentioning here…I actually thought i30 looks alright when it just came out, but its aging at an unbelievable speed!

      i30 just looks so old and boring now… Whereas the old school Corolla actually still looks half decent after 5 years in the market.

      • Sam

        Kia are doing a much better design job than Hyundai in my opinion. They will age a lot better than the swooping designs of the i30, etc.

  • m2m

    Cruze will probably overtake the 3 because of an extensive transmission/engine range and decent equipment from base model upwards. The 3 is a brilliant car but the value of the cruze would be very enticing for Aussie customers!

    Also surprising that there are 3(?) commercial vehicles in the top ten! I wonder how many are used as family cars noawadays..

    • http://ozmazda.com ozmazda

      Once the new skydrive’s and motors come on line into the freshed up 3 it will keep it above the rest….

  • http://ozmazda.com ozmazda

    Well done Mazda and here is the breakdown of the mazda’s

    Mazda Model Breakdown (Model – Monthly Sales – YTD Sales)

    Mazda2 – 1,544 – 4,475
    Mazda3 – 3,946 – 11,077
    Mazda3 MPS – 33 – 82
    Mazda6 – 464 – 1,499
    MX-5 – 41 – 89
    RX-8 – 12 – 27
    CX-7 – 778 – 2,296
    CX-9 – 302 – 858
    BT-50 4X2 – 547 – 1,397
    BT-50 4X4 – 372 – 1,083

  • Carrara

    Has Lexus outsold Audi yet? Last time I checked Lexus was just behind Audi..

  • Max Power

    These figures prove there are approximately 15,0000 stupid bogans out there who spend good money on rebadged Daewoos and Dinsoaur Commodores.

    • Shak

      And i guess all the people around the world who buy those “rebadged Daewoos and Dinosaur Commodores” are also bogans, aye?

    • Dave S

      Sounds like 15 000 people who want value for money with their cars and a large nationwide dealer network. Vs over priced imports with expensive parts and service (if you can get service.

      • Eric

        Toyota’s $180 capped service. A kings ransom compaird to a Commodore.

        How much exactly is a factory service for a new VE??


        • F1MotoGP

          At Toyota all $130 except Tarago which is $170

    • Stoney!

      lol, some people just have no idea…..

      • Phil

        Your right, some people do have no idea.

        Toyota’s servicing intervals are a maximum ***6 months***

        Commodore and most other cars are 12 months. Many European cars are 24 months.

        So when comparing Toyota’s servicing prices, don’t forget to double or quadriple the price.
        Also don’t forget to factor in the value you place on your own time and convinience when you have to take your Toyota into the dealer and be without your car twice or even 4 times as often as other cars.

        • MF

          What European cars require service at 24 months interval?

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Goose

    I nearly choked on my Crown lager when I saw the Falcon sales tally….outsold by two Mitsubishi’s,Hyundai,Mazda,Two Toyota models…..and the Nissan Navara? I would love to be a fly on the wall at Ford boardroom meetings right now to see what they’re discussing regarding the Falcons(and ultimately their own)futures. They need to get some serious changes moving along….and soon!

  • Paul

    Carm before the storm.
    SVP coming soon
    Ecoboost coming by the end of the year and LPi in July.
    They are just taking a bit of pain now

  • Blitzkrieg

    Any word on the amount of ugly gen 5 libertys subaru are trying to sell.