Who said the car industry has slowed down? Despite the somewhat higher fuel prices, more cars are being sold than ever. 2005 has so far been the best year for the Australian car industry, nonetheless, in the first quarter of 2007, 255,068 vehicles have found new owners. An increase of 20,463 or 8.7 per cent from 2006 and 25,000 more vehicles than 2005.

By any measure it’s a remarkably strong start to the year and one that has probably taken even the optimists in our industry slightly by surprise,” said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.

Consumers appear to have shaken off any lingering concerns about fuel prices and interest rates and have responded enthusiastically to the intensely competitive prices being offered in dealerships.”

The FCAI is estimating a sales total of 970,000 for 2007. Perhaps a little careful in going towards the magical 1,000,000 vehicle mark. The most important fact from the figures shows that sales growth was being experienced in almost every segment of the market, large as well as small.

family cars in the Large passenger vehicle segment grew by 4.7 per cent last month compared to March 2006 helped considerably by the VE Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion.

The strong domestic sales of Australian-made Holdens and Toyotas is a welcome addition to the export growth those car makers are achieving,” said Peter Sturrock.

Despite the success of large cars, the trend towards small passenger cars is more than evident. As the fastest-growing of all sales segments, sales increase by 8532 vehicles or 16.7 per cent compared to last year. Light car sales grew by 3334 or 11.9 per cent, SUV Compact by 2851 or 22.2 per cent and SUV Medium by 1617 or 4.7 per cent.

Sales in the Pick-up/Cab-chassis 4×4 segment grew by 4614 or 30.0 per cent in the first quarter.

Australians still have a desire and practical need for bigger vehicles and the rebound in SUV sales and 4×4 pick-up sales reflects that,” said Peter Sturrock.

Best selling brands so far this year :

  1. Toyota 21,390
  2. Holden 13,454
  3. Ford 10,074
  4. Mazda 7,140
  5. Mitsubishi 6,201
  6. Honda 5,936
  7. Nissan 5,811
  8. Hyundai 3,804
  9. Subaru 3,613
  10. Volkswagen 2,265

Toyota was Australia’s most popular brand in March with 21,390 sales ahead of Holden (13,454) and Ford (10,074). Toyota currently holds 22.0 per cent of the market, Holden is relatively far behind with 14.3 per cent and Ford comes in at 10.7 per cent.

The Top 20 best selling cars so far this year:

  1. Holden Commodore 5752
  2. Toyota Corolla 4029
  3. Ford Falcon 3249
  4. Mazda 33182
  5. Toyota Yaris 2702
  6. Toyota Camry 2574
  7. Toyota Aurion 2037
  8. Hyundai Getz 1895
  9. Holden Astra 1771
  10. Honda Civic 1685
  11. Ford Focus 1595
  12. Mitsubishi Lancer 1575
  13. Nissan Tiida 1527
  14. Honda CR-V 1454
  15. Toyota RAV4 1406
  16. Ford Territory 1383
  17. Toyota Prado 1314
  18. Suzuki Swift 1251
  19. Mazda6 1232
  20. Mitsubishi Pajero 1213



  • Lazybones

    Actually it has to be said the boost for locally made cars is more thanks to Toyota than Holden. The VE still hasn’t bounced back as Holden expected, and still fails to break the 6000 mark, which it did easily in 2005/06. Just look at the YTD figures for locally made cars. All are negative except for one! Toyota at +51% (YTD). Then looking at the same Month of March in 2006/2007 its a whopping 64%.

    http://www.fcai.com.au/sales.php/2007/03/origin.html

    Now look at the top 20, Holden holds the top spot and nothing else. And amazingly the outgoing Astra pans the Korean Supercrap Viva. Even the Captiva is no where to be seen, And this car is appearently selling heaps!!

    Denny’s got to be a regular visitor at seek.com.au by now :)

  • Myke

    Man I’m sick of Toyota, I don’t know how they manage to sell 4000 Corolla’s considering it’s five years old. Lots probably go to rental and fleet buyers. But then again it still isn’t the cheapest small/med car for rentals to buy.

    Commodore may not reach the 6000 mark, but what they have achieved is quite good considering the price of fuel. Even if though the Viva is cheaper, I personally pay more for the Astra, it’s build quality is outstanding for it’s price. Plus people know the Astra name now and people still aren’t familiar with Viva (just like the Tiida).

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    The Corolla is the best selling car… in the world.. literally.. there are more Corollas in the world than any other car.

    For us as car enthusiasts, a Corolla would probably be the last car we’d see our selves in, but for the majority of norm citizens, its the perfect car as it offers good fuel economy, decent build quality and most importantly, it comes with Toyota’s undisputed badge of reliability

  • Myke

    Yeah, but so many cars are economical and have good build quality, reliablity and in addition are to good to drive. If another car offers more at a similar price to the Corolla, I don’t understand why people don’t go for them. And the same applies for the Camry.

  • Lazybones

    “I personally pay more for the Astra”.

    Exactly my point, I’m so disappointed with Holdens decision to stop the euro imports and replace them with Korean crap.

    My comments on the Commodore are more of a business perspective (being a small business myself). If you know the market is on a down turn due to high petrol cost, which will only get worse. It surely means investing 1Bn in that market is a bad idea. Why were Toyota the only one in the large car segment to address this issue?

    On top of this, Holden have been give large grants by the government to research fuel efficient/green technology. Where has this money gone?

  • Myke

    Holden have said they will bring out a diesel on the Commodore by the end of the year. I know someone said on this site that that was untrue, but apparently it is going to happen and I hope it will.

    I blame the korean stuff on Denny Mooney (CEO of Holden). I personally believe that they should sell both the Europe and Korean variant for their popular models (like the Viva and Astra). Example: have the korean Barina as an entry and the Corsa as a high-spec version, at a price around $16k, like the Fiesta.

    Same with the Epica and Vectra, there is a huge different in price between the two, if they imported the facelifted model Vectra. I think if they resold the Vectra and gave it proper advertising and really promoted it, I think it would sell.

    The problem with the Vectra being launched in 2003 was the pricing was too high and at this point petrol was at a fair/okay price. Nowadays petrol is higher, the Commodore is a lot more expensive, Holden can afford to bring the Vectra back.

    Toyota have made it work. The Camry and Aurion are very similar in pricing and considering they are almost the same car and each are able to sell each in large amounts, suggests Holden could and should do the same.

  • Myke

    Paul,
    I’m anything but a bogan and yes it is very evident that I dislike Toyota, but that doesn’t mean I only like aussie cars. I’m a big fan of japanese car makers: Honda, Mazda, Subaru.

    And I’m not comparing Corollas and Camrys to Commodores and Falcons, but to Mazda 3s and 6s, Civic and Accord Euros. That show a clear concept of design and driveability. They might not be able to be sold as a fleet vehicle but for private buyers they should really consider it.

    Their quality and reliablity are just as good, if not better than Toyota.

  • Paul

    ^

    Hmmm ok. Well I agree that Toyotas in the past did lack design etc as you mentioned which is fair enough… but with cars like the Aurion and even Camry its evident things are changing at Toyota! So now people dont just get the reliaiblity Toyota is famous for but also decent looks and in some cases (ie TRD Aurion) performs well and HOPEFULLY handles alot better then most Toyotas.

  • Lazybones

    “Holden have said they will bring out a diesel on the Commodore by the end of the year. I know someone said on this site that that was untrue, but apparently it is going to happen”

    Yes i’ve also heard this, but the fact its going to market nearly 12-18 months after the initial lunch shows how complacent Holden are with the market. Diesels are increasing at a massive rate 148% this year already (VFACTS). In my view Dennys head needs to roll, Holden need someone who’s intouch with the aussie market, not the US one.

  • John

    Mitsubishi figures don’t add up, 6,201 cars sold year to date but only 2788 between Lancer and Pajero, does this mean 380,Colt & Outlander had the balance without any of them hitting the 20? That’s 3,412 vehicles unaccounted for.

  • http://www.ozmazda.com David Rome

    What a great month for Mazda and take away the Corolla’s Govo contracts the Mazda 3 would show it up….with the new 2 on the horizan and a brand new 6 for 2008 the best importer its surging ahead…and its great for my website ozmazda.com

  • Myke

    I think the YTD also includes commercial vehicles.

  • Paul

    ‘David Rome’ the Mazdas are doing well… but when you combine all of Toyotas small car sales they have 7000 to 3000 Mazdas.

    Doesnt need to be said really, but Toyota dominate the small car market

  • Myke

    ^
    Hmm. The Mazda 2 is coming in October and could make a dramatic different in the sales market, won’t beat Toyota but we will have to see.

    David is saying that subtract the Corolla’s 40% of fleet buyers from 4029, is roughly 2417. Meaning if it weren’t for fleets, the Mazda 3 would have the edge over the Corolla.

  • gim

    My guess in that Toyota Corollas are popular in sales is that there are increasingly more older drivers (50+) who have grown and appreciated the reliablility in the name. So when they see the corolla name they dont really see if it looks stylish or desireable like younger drivers may look for in new cars, but more reliablity and familiarity.

    I’m not sure if this will prove my point, but you still see a lot of older drivers in new Corollas. Also the older drivers will have the money to buy their younger children a car, and in their minds will want a reliable vehicle, like a corolla…

    Just my 2 cents.
    (Personally i find the Corolla an average drive car, but wont buy one… but happy to drive if given to me. However will prefer someone with more driver enjoyment and style.)