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by Tim Beissmann

The Mazda3 is on the cusp of dethroning the Holden Commodore to become Australia’s most popular new car. Mazda’s small smiling assassin leads the large local family car by 301 units with just one month remaining in 2011.

If the Mazda3 can hang onto the top spot this month, it will end the Commodore’s 15-year reign over the Australian automotive market.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 88,654 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in November 2011, up 1.5 percent (1312 vehicles) compared with November 2010.

The month was a peculiar one for our locally made cars. The Commodore missed the top three for the second consecutive month, the Ford Territory replaced the Falcon in the top 10, and the Toyota Camry – now deep in run-out mode – missed 1000 sales for the first time in recent history.

Ford and Hyundai swapped places from the previous month, thanks partly to a solid month from the Focus. Volkswagen slipped back below Mitsubishi after the Golf failed to repeat its record-breaking October, while Kia jumped ahead of Honda to round out the top 10.

Top 10 sales by marque:

  1. Toyota – 17,463
  2. Holden – 9761
  3. Ford – 8103
  4. Mazda – 8031
  5. Hyundai – 7514
  6. Nissan – 5834
  7. Mitsubishi – 5121
  8. Volkswagen – 3823
  9. Subaru – 2404
  10. Kia – 2344

The Corolla has again cemented its position at the top the sales charts, recording its third consecutive monthly win in November and its fourth for 2011, in a year that has been hampered by supply issues following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March.

After a driveaway pricing promotion rocketed the Golf to 3337 sales in October and third position for the month, it returned to its normal levels last month, recording 764 sales and slipping beyond the top 25.

The Falcon fell to 13th overall (1483 sales), but Ford Australia would be encouraged by the strong performance of the Territory, which had its best sales month in more than a year and clearly held onto its position as Australia’s favourite SUV.

Top 10 sales by model:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3731
  2. Mazda3 – 3480
  3. Toyota HiLux – 3332
  4. Holden Commodore – 2808
  5. Holden Cruze – 2393
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2167
  7. Ford Territory – 1776
  8. Toyota Yaris – 1764
  9. Nissan Navara – 1653
  10. Toyota RAV4 – 1577

Toyota Australia’s Mike Breen blamed the Camry’s horror month on the impending launch of the new seventh-generation model, but said the Altona production strikes and restricted parts supply because of the Thailand floods also had an impact. Although the new Camry will be officially launched tomorrow, Breen said December would also be a lean sales month, as the new models won’t appear in showrooms in serious numbers until January.

It was a different story for the Toyota Yaris, however, with the new light car dominating its segment. The Mazda2 came second (1449 sales) and will finish 2011 as Australia’s top-selling light car. In its first full month of sales, the all-new Holden Barina jumped to third with 1283 sales – its best result since February 2008.

Four small cars made the top 10 in October, although the i30 was down 631 units compared with October and the Cruze also fell 412. The Mitsubishi Lancer (1545, 12th overall) and the Focus (1222, 17th overall) were the next best sellers.

Despite a dire month, the Camry still held onto top spot in November, although its share of the segment slipped from 51.1 per cent in October to 20.6 per cent. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class (681), Ford Mondeo (632) and Mazda6 (625) recorded comparatively solid results.

The Commodore and Falcon continued as the only volume products in the large-car segment, followed by the Toyota Aurion (620) and the Nissan Maxima (313).

The RAV4 dominated the compact SUV segment with a 13.8 per cent share of the market. The Nissan X-Trail (1147), Hyundai ix35 (1094) and Mazda CX-7 (1070) also ensured they will end 2011 on a high note. Following the Territory in the medium SUV segment was the Toyota Kluger (1571) and the Holden Captiva 7 (958).

The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues its domination of the luxury SUV segment, almost doubling the sales of the second ranked Lexus RX (519 vs 269).

The HiLux controlled the 4×2 (1127 sales) and 4×4 (2205) pick-up/cab chassis segments, leading the Falcon Ute (680) in the former and the Navara (1571) in the latter.




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