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by Tim Beissmann

The Toyota Camry became the top-selling Australian-made car across the country last month, beating its locally built rivals for the first time in almost 18 years.

Toyota sold 3379 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid models throughout Australia in October, easily accounting for the next best locally manufactured vehicles, the Holden Commodore (2449), Holden Cruze (2251), Ford Falcon (1391) and Ford Territory (1227).

The only other time the Toyota Camry has outsold its compatriots was way back in January 1995, when the third-generation ‘XV10’ Camry (below) outsold the likes of the EF Falcon, the VR Commodore and the Mitsubishi TS Magna.

The Camry was denied the overall number one ranking in October by its sibling, the Toyota HiLux, which managed only an extra 24 sales for the month. October was the HiLux’s sixth month out of the past seven at the top of the national sales charts, with the market-leading Mazda3 claiming the crown in September.

The Toyota Camry is the dominant medium car in the market. Its nearest rival in October was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which achieved 658 sales, while its closest contender in the sub-$60,000 bracket was the Mazda6 on 440 units.

Toyota Australia has sold 20,499 Camry models across the first 10 months of 2012, which, impressively, puts it 15,125 sales clear of the second-ranked Mazda6.

Sales of the Camry are up 23.1 per cent for the year compared with 2011, following the launch of the seventh-generation sedan in December last year.

The October result (up 24.0 per cent over 2011) was buoyed by the introduction of a zero per cent finance offer on Camry and Aurion models at the beginning of the month, as well as an aggressive new advertising campaign emphasising the car’s locally manufactured nature.

The Aurion enjoyed its third-best month for the year in October, recording 931 sales.