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by Tim Beissmann

The Australian automotive industry enjoyed its second consecutive month of growth in September as supply from Japanese manufacturers – particularly Toyota – returned to pre-tsunami levels.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 86,819 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in September 2011, up 2.1 percent (1765 vehicles) compared with September 2010.

September’s strong result takes total sales for the first nine months of the year to 752,128, putting the industry on track to break the one million mark for only the fourth time.

Toyota enjoyed it first positive sales result (compared with the same month in the previous year) since January, with the Japanese marque’s September sales 7.4 per cent ahead of the same month in 2010.

Ford returned to the manufacturer’s podium while Mazda slipped back to fifth after a record-breaking August. Volkswagen continues to snap of the heels of Mitsubishi for seventh place, while Kia stretched its margin over 11th-placed Honda (1845).

Top 10 sales by marque:

  1. Toyota – 17,378
  2. Holden – 11,009
  3. Ford – 8161
  4. Hyundai – 7508
  5. Mazda – 6037
  6. Nissan – 5892
  7. Mitsubishi – 4798
  8. Volkswagen – 4407
  9. Subaru – 2503
  10. Kia – 2222

With supply from Japan normalising, the Toyota Corolla surged to the top of the charts, pipping the Commodore by just 54 units.

Despite missing the top spot for September, the Commodore regained its overall number one position for the year. The local large car outsold the Mazda3 by 1009 units, turning a 471-vehicle deficit into a 538-unit lead.

After solid Augusts, the Ford Territory (11th, 1395 units) and Mazda2 (17th, 1234) dropped out of the top 10, replaced by the Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Golf.

Top 10 sales by model:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3766
  2. Holden Commodore – 3712
  3. Toyota HiLux – 3191
  4. Holden Cruze – 3117
  5. Mazda3 – 2703
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2493
  7. Toyota Camry – 2049
  8. Nissan Navara – 1885
  9. Ford Falcon – 1708
  10. Volkswagen Golf – 1664

FCAI CEO Ian Chalmers said he expected Australians to purchase one million new motor vehicles by the end of 2011.

“Reduced sales in the second quarter of 2011 have set a challenging target for the final three months of the year, but industry resolve is high,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Sales stimulus by means of competition in the marketplace saw the third quarter end strongly, and we are now looking toward continued growth through to the end of the year.”

The Toyota Yaris (1367) took control of the light segment ahead of the Mazda2 (1234), Ford Fiesta (1203) and the Suzuki Swift (1014). Eight $48,800 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs were also registered in September.

The top five small cars all reached the overall top 10 for the month, with the Mitsubishi Lancer (1349), Ford Focus (821) and the Kia Cerato (743) the next best performers.

The Toyota Camry controlled the medium segment ahead of the Ford Mondeo (631), Hyundai i45 (529) and Honda Accord Euro (404). The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which officially competes in the $60,000-plus medium segment, was actually the second highest selling medium car overall, with 656 sales in September.

It was business as usual in the large car segment, with the Commodore outstripping the Falcon by more than 2000 units. The Toyota Aurion (941) was the only other significant player, while the Skoda Superb jumped up to fourth position with 170 sales.

The Toyota RAV4 (1254) took the points in the compact SUV segment ahead of the Subaru Forester (1135), Nissan X-Trail (1063) and the Hyundai ix35 (969).

The Territory maintained its position as the top selling SUV in the land, finishing more than 400 units clear of its closest rival, the Toyota Kluger (970).

The HiLux (1030) led the Commodore Ute (882) and the Falcon Ute (752) in the 4×2 pick-up/cab-chassis segment, and it also did the job over the Navara (2161 vs 1776) in the 4×4 category.




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