The Australian large car segment continued its decline in 2012 with sales of large cars under $70,000 down by 20.4 percent compared to 2011, which it self was down significantly on 2010.

The Holden Commodore ended 2012 with 30,532 sales, down from 40,617 sales in 2011. A 24.8 percent decline. Meanwhile, the Ford Falcon went from 18,741 sales in 2011 to just 14,036 sales in 2012. Down 25.1 percent despite the introduction of the highly anticipated Ecoboost.

The Toyota Aurion was the only car in the large car segment under $70,000 to record a viable year on year increase, thanks to the introduction of a new model. Sales beat the downward trend and went up by 1.8 percent from 8,915 to 9,074, with Toyota’s aggressive finance deals having a significant impact. Peugeot’s 508 managed to find 1,085 buyers this year compared with last year’s incomplete record of 285.

The Skoda Superb came down by 24.9 percent (869 to 653) while the Nissan Maxima counted 1,454 (down from 1,923). Honda also suffered the general downward trend with the Accord coming down from 1,978 to 1,565.

The large car segment over $70,000 managed to maintain it sales figures with a moderate one percent decline on 2011. The big winner was the Lexus GS, which went from 114 sales in 2011 to 624 in 2012 with the arrival of an all-new model.

The Volvo S80 also more than doubled its sales from 23 to 47 while the Jaguar XF went from 550 to 648 (up 17.8 percent) thanks to more affordable entry models. The Audi A7 (down 31.6 percent), Audi A6 (down 8.6 percent despite update), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (down 25.3 percent) and BMW 5 Series (down 21.5 percent) all suffered from the general trend towards smaller cars.

Top 10 large car sales in 2012:

  1. Holden Commodore
  2. Ford Falcon
  3. Toyota Aurion
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Nissan Maxima
  6. BMW 5 Series
  7. Peugeot 508
  8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  9. Skoda Superb
  10. Audi A6



  • ForgetIt

    It’s not looking good!

  • Doctor

    Perhaps the eco-boost wasn’t highly anticipated after all…..

    • Tom

      It was very highly anticipated by everyone who has any interest in the motor industry and in particular, the state of the Australian motor industry. The problem is that over 90% have no idea what it is.

      • Zaccy16

        exactly! thats the only problem! advertising, we know what it is because we are car enthusiasts but the normal public still think its a fuel guzzling 6

        • Stephen

          Lol i know the guy whos in charge of ford aus advertising! He’s a freind of the family, i’ve tried to hint more than once that the ads might not be reaching their target audience. Unfortunately he’s a clueless mug so unless ford finds another ad agency there is NO hope!

          • $29896495

            I think Holden use Sache and Sache, Ford should consider poaching them. It would probably be worth the money.

  • $29896495

    If that doesn’t tell a story nothing does. Big cars are out. the plus and negative for Ford is that even though they were starting from lower numbers, they didn’t lose as many as Commodore. Swings and roundabouts maybe (just looking for a bright side).

    Still nobody knows about ecoboost and what it does or what it is. I think that’s most likely the explanation. Plus those that do, unless you are of a certain mind set, people are still cautious of turbos.

  • Dfadf

    It’s because the fuel prices have gone up and up and up over the past 10 years or so. Once petrol drops to under 100cpl, the large cars will be back on top again like the pre 100+ cpl era.

    • $29896495

      For a start, that will never happen again. Secondly if you look back at history of cars not only here but every where, they get to a certain size, and the bubble bursts. As you said this started ten years go, but they, being the manufacturers, pushed their cars up  another size, then things stop selling.

      They are even down sizing in the US, I read an article yesterday that talked about how much Chrysler was taking out of its new car because it was to big. That was a supposed weight reduction together with dimensions of over 300 kgs.

      Ford US is reportedly doing the same with the new Mustang, which would have a dribble down effect. So they know what the problem is, trouble is they are locked into what they have. No body has the money, except Toyota to run out and slap together a new car from scratch.

      • Golfmother

        SO true , when you think about how big 50/60′s US cars were , this is just natures way of coping with toooo many cars world wide ,  7 billion humans now and an expected 8 within 10 years , downsizing will accelerate .

    • Aussie and Proud

      Yeah you are correct but tell me why the dollar is up and oil is hovering between $87 to $92 a barrel yet fuel has not fallen in price, we should be paying about $1.10 per litre…….Where is the Government watchdog, didn’t Rudd promise to look into it? 
      As for the idiot journo, how come 9,000 Aurions is viable yet 14,000 Falcons and 30,000 Commodores isn’t.
      AND everyone seems to forget, a 7 year old car (Commodore) is still the 5th best seller in this country despite the price of fuel.
      What I really don’t understand is why people want these SUV’s they are a hazzard in the city and not as safe as cars.
      I also agree GM should rethink the Commodore size.

      • Golfmother

        OZ bombs are too fat and heavy on the road to knowhere .

        Now FORD/HOLDEN are bleeting like lambs to have the fuel ratings indicators removed from new cars , so joe public can’t see what gas guzzlers they are .

        • Tommy Condon

          I really wish you would throw away your pathetic hatred of Australian made cars and contribute to the conversation without such prejudice. However, you aren’t incorrect. Even though the now 7 year old Commodore is still one of the best sellers in an extremely crowded market, they are too big. It’s rather interesting that the original Commodore was itself Holden’s new ‘downsized’ model in 1978 after the gigantic 70s era cars were falling out of favour. But it’s now similar to the cars it replaced. Maybe it’s a natural cycle.

          • Golfmother

            Correct the crude is bigger inside than the VB cruddydore , but back then humans were slim , so cruddydores kept growing to accomodate fatties .

          • DanielD

            All cars have grown to accommodate fatties, as has the Golf.

          • $29896495

            Actually it’s the American way, and all manufacturers have picked up on it. If you are going to do a new car, it has to seem bigger and better than what preceded it, just like the golf, and the Polo, and so they bring out a new small car the UP to fill the hole left by the Polo. 

            Can’t ask more money for something if it’s smaller.

          • Dave S

            It comes down to width, I dont think the Cruze is as wide as the VB Commodore was. The VB was also big enough to be RWD. The Cruze may be nearly as long as a VB but that does not make it the same size.

          • Sam

            @huwtm:disqus I think it’s more about basic human psychology, than the ‘American way’, as you so put it.

          • guest

            So, us people who have large cars must be fatties?

            Okay then, on the scales for you – Mr Golfmother! And then on the bike – let’s see how quickly you can cover 10km, which should be a nice easy distance for you since you Golf drivers are obviously so superior to the rest of us!

          • $29896495

            Sam you are right of course, but i think it’s conditioned as well.

          • Rocket

            If people want to buy a smaller Holden they can buy a Cruze. Some people want big cars so why does everyone have to downsize. All the major manufacturers have large cars in their range but they don’t sell as many because they are more expensive to buy and own. Eg BMW 5 series vs 1 series.

          • $29896495

            Rocket I think you missed the point. Holden once had a car designated HJ I believe, which was like a boat. They did everything they could to make it sell but it wouldn’t. So they brought out the Opel Commodore (Rekord, which later became the Omega,) stuck Aussie engines in and the cycle started again. 

            It’s just that time. Happened in the US and it’s happening again. It’ll be interesting to see where Holden picks up it’s next shrunken Holden from.

        • Fairlane

          Sorry Goofyboy but your just a Terd

          Trendy
          European
          Retail
          Demographic

          Willing to lap up anything if its from europe and pay extra.

          if there is Bogons then there is also Terds.

      • Jack Lewis

        9,000 Australian-made Aurion is viable, because its a car that sells #00,000s of units around the world (inclusive of worldwide Camry and Aurion sales). Global cars bring global scale; and it helps that they sell very well too.
        Commodore and Falcon will die – even if VF and the 2014 Falcon (against all odds) are successful; because beyond 2016, Ford and Holden will only survive here if they are manufacturing a global car(s). That vehicle won’t be an ‘Aussie icon,’ but I’d rather have that, then Australians losing jobs.

        • Stevecro

          I guess you mean “i’d rather have that THAN Australians losing jobs”. But you’re correct. Toyota sells it’s Aurion body in 4 cylinder form in other markets so they would be content with Aussie sales since their large cars have never really challenged the big two large cars. They now look set to topple the Falcon if present trends continue

          • Stevecro

            oops! “its” …. I hate it when I do that

      • Zaccy16

        another labor and ju-liar lie terrible skyrocketed fuel prices with no explanation 

  • Barry

    Big sedans are not selling but big SUV’s are.The best example of that is Territory out selling Falcon.Alternative fuel seems to be the short term solution.
    Hold on Juiia put a 20c excise on LPG when the Chinese pay $0.01 per litre.What a joke,we could secure our medium term future by using a fossle fuel that we have an abundance off.

    • Stevecro

      I don’t think there is a solution to the falling sales of the big two large sedans. The Holden Commodore and Falcon just aren’t aspirational vehicles any more. We have huge choices of cheaper,better made cars so we naturally ask ourselves do we really need “size”. 
      Fuel use may a contributing factor but only one of many. As you point out, SUVs sell well so they must have other attributes people want that over-ride fuel consumption (although many of these vehicles are making astonishing gains in economy) 

      • Barry

        For people like my parents a SUV is easier to get in and out of than a low profile sedan.I drive a SV6 ute and get about 12.5L/100km around city,about 9L/100KM on freeway.=10.8L/100KMS.7.5L/100KMS RURAL.
        Happy with fuel consumption but a $1.40 and rising fuel is a problem.You sertainly can get cheaper foreign made cars,dont know about better made.If you live or travel in the country, size still matters,look at the amount of Landcruisers on the country roads.
        Been recently spoken on this website about the coming Diesel regulations,which will damage SUV;S sales.Point to remember some high profile foreign made cars have had terrible reliability problems in AU.Adding massive service costs.The reason I believe most Australians still prefer to buy Toyota.

  • Save It For The Track

    The general public who buy cars based on advertising and speaking with friends (who likely don’t know much about cars either), or based on history and supposed reputation, would not know that the Falcon ecoboost exists, let alone how well received and reviewed it has been. Don’t forget, Ford not only have the 4 cylinder petrol ecoboost, they also have the ecoLPI engine in Falcon as well. Both better engines and packages than comparable GM product. (although no 4 cylinder exists in Commodore, the ecoboost 4 in Falcon out matches the 3.0L base in Commodore). No for too long Ford marketing has had their heads where the sun doesn’t shine, and has until recently persisted with nothing but diesel territory adverts, and focus/fiesta and occasional Mondeo adverts about the stereo system and the like. I’ve yet to drive an ecoboost, but by all review accounts it would be interesting, given the superior front end balance as compared to the old faithful straight six. perhaps a basic ‘grass roots’ advert along the lines of 0-100 and fuel consumption figures would have helped. Though that would likely have cannibalised 6 cylinder sales (probably would not have been a bad thing). TOO late now. Should be some good bargains to consider in a year or two on a used ecoboost.

    • Sdfg

      The general public normally buy cars based on the car not the engine. Why would sticking a different engine into a car people turned their backs on suddenly make everyone interested again?
      Few people buying after a big, cheap sedan would care or even notice the difference in the front end balance. People will however notice that the Ecoboost costs the same as the bigger, more powerful 6….WTF? People don’t want to pay 6 cylinder prices for a 4 cylinder!

      • Save It For The Track

        People regularly pay ‘six cylinder prices’ for a 4 cylinder. Those that buy ‘top of the range’ Camry’s, Mazda6′s, many a VW group vehicle with a 2.0l turbo, as just a few examples.

        • Sdfg

          EH? People buying ‘top of the range’ 4 cylinders are paying for extra kit like leather and satnav. Get the same level of kit in a 6 cylinder and you’ll pay even more again.

      • Zaccy16

        but people these days care about fuel costs so the eco lpi or the ecoboost should be good options

    • Zaccy16

      Exactly! the majority of people have no idea about cars thats why they buy the yaris, corrola, camry and commodore, all rubbish cars but are advertised well and recognizable names. The falcon is in every way a better car than the wheezy commodore but because of lack of advertising they don’t sell like they deserve too!

      • Sam

        Not one of those cars is rubbish. The Commodore is not ‘wheezy’

      • Rikstah

        Those cars are boring, but rubbish? Definitely not. They’re all solid cars that get the job done, which in this case isn’t blasting through the twisties. 

        Get over your crappy VW Polo, its a girl’s car anyway.

  • Rocket

    The top 3 large cars are made in OZ which is a great result. Anyone who compares a buzz box grocery getter Golf to a large Commodore or Falcon must have an inferiority complex or are unable to drive a big car. Small cars should always sell more as they are cheaper and women prefer them because they are easy to park at the shopping centre.

    • Sydlocal

      Even though that ‘buzz box grocery getter Golf’ would have refinement/engineering (meaning less buzz) that the large Commodore or Falcon could only dream of.
      Having said that I am not a fan of the Golf, as good as it is, and would rather a Falcon or Commodore over one of them anyday. Also the Commodore and Falcon have durability and dare I say it reliability the Golf could only dream of!!! TIC ;-)

      • Golfmother

        HA dreams of better bogan days , the dino is dying get over it , all the women i know hate large cars , better to park? , you kidding , then again fatties would prefer a large car .

        I have owned large cars in the past when doing lots of interstate travel , now i fly usually , and when i do drive the GTI does it as easily as a large car .

        • Rocket

          You don’t have to get so emotional about it. Anyway why are you on the big car blog if you hate them so much? Go back to the grocery getter blog.

          • Gotya

            you don’t have to be so emotional about it 

          • Golfmother

            Sprocket dont get so emotional , its a only a crummer/falcoon were chatting about , just a joe average ancient tubby car that does not sell very well .

          • Timmy

            Selling more than a Golf though

        • Adelaide_john

          if women dont like large cars becuase of parking – why do so many of them drive large SUV’s.  Yes higher driving position but not much better when it comes to parking.  Still got to get a large vehicle in a parkign spot

        • PoisonSpoonbill

          The women you know Hahaha. Yeah women are crazy about car-forum dwelling goobers, with an unhealthy German feti$h. Nothing reels em in like droning on about a hatchback with relentless zeal. I reckon your female friends are the real fatty dinos. U mad, bro?

      • Rocket

        No VW in the top ten large cars because they are not very good compared to the other German marques and their small cars are still behind the More reliable Japanese marques.

        • Golfmother

          Genius, VW dont have a large car , biggest is medium passat .

          • Rocket

            VW Phaeton ring a bell ding a ling. Obviously not good enough for the Australian market.

          • Golfmother

            Gee and i presumed we were taking OZ , sorry Sprocket , in europe the bogan cars would get flogged , old tech .

          • Sdfg

            Phaeton is over 5 metres long and eve if it were offeredi n the Australian market, it’s sales would be in the “upper large” segment with Crapice and S class.

          • Zaccy16

            its not sold in aus so how can it be in the top 10?

    • JennyTalia

      actually, quality small cars today can have better NHV levels than our old tech barges. Our cars being tied to the U.S just can’t change quickly enough in a world of change. And it appears people are over big “3 box style” sedans

      • Rocket

        Some people still prefer large sedans which is why all the major manufacturers still make them. If you want to buy a hatch or an SUV there are plenty to choose from. Your argument that small cars have better NVH levels is at odds with my experience of driving everything from a Daihatsu Charade to an S class Merc.

      • $29896495

        By small, I assume you mean medium. which I agree with. Things that are Astra, Corolla, Focus, Megan sized.  Even some of the true small cars such as Fiesta, Barina can ride and handle very well, But when you get into the new range of pocket size cars, I don’t know. I agree with the rest, people are over the BIG.

      • Zaccy16

        exactly, prime example is my polo

        • Garrywhopper

          You have polio? That’s no good champ

    • Zaccy16

      thats the wrong attitude about small cars that most older people that don’t know anything about cars still have, yes old small cars were unrefined and slow but not some new small cars, a prime example is my polo tsi, much quieter inside than my previous car (a much much larger ford territory) and my second car i currently own for the family ( mazda 6 2005 classic wagon)  the polo is very refinened, only reving at about 1800-1900 rpms in 7 at 100 KPH and its still powerful, good on fuel and fun to drive, the interior also can’t be matched by some cars 3 or 4 times the price for the quality of the fit and finish

  • Mark

    Looks like our beloved car industry will be looking for another big cash injection from the Australian taxpayers soon.

    No need to actually sell cars if you can just send a government check to the boardrooms in Detroit and Tokyo. 

    The Japanese and Americans must think we’re complete mugs…

    • DanielD

      Japanese and Americans know that in every market that cars are manufactured there are subsidies and tax breaks, so no they wouldn’t. They might think a lot of Australians who don’t know that are mugs however.

  • Jack Package

    Wat a laff, cummycoon for fatties, old tech, dinos are over, get with it

    • Gtrxu1

      Jack your comments are very similar to golfmothers.

      • Stop_the_boats

        Gtr, crummers for tubbies, needs the exxon valdez to move the dino barge, same with the falcoon .

  • Rocket

    It is interesting to note some of the anti Australian and American sentiment on this blog from those who don’t like large cars. No one forces anyone to buy a large car so why is there so much vitriol amongst those who prefer small cars or an SUV? I have owned and driven all sorts of cars over the years and yes Falcons and Commodores are not the flavour of the month anymore for the image conscious but that does not mean they are not good cars.

    If people need an image boost let them buy whatever makes them feel good I say.

    • Golfmother

      Exactly , bogans love crummers and falcooons , gives them an image boost , ha .

      • PoisonSpoonbill

        Just like pretentious elitist w@nkers like to smell their own farts and cast stereotypes from their bland poo chariot.

        • Golfmother

          Floppy has a new name , same filth .

          • PoisonSpoonbill

            No it’s the toxic budgie’s new incarnation actually. As for filth, do you think you bring anything remotely intelligent or valuable to the discussion? You sound like a politician or a salesman.

          • Garrywhopper

            You are breath of fresh air man, just saying it like it is, kapow!!!!!, wham!!!!!! Righting all the wrongs, putting everyone in there place!!!!!

          • Stop_the_boats

            filthy floppy, ha .

  • Ouvu

    Now I drive around with the Toyota Aurion and I have not noticed any difference with the fuel consumption between the 2010 Camry & 2010 Aurion

    Despite an extra Litre in engine size

    • Stop_the_boats

      Awrion is fine, bit boring, watch out for coon & crummers, for fatties.

  • Rick

    Wake up you bunch of clowns . Are you all really that stupid , can’t you all think for yourselves or even do some research before you make stupid comments?
    Commodore length 4903mm
    Width 1899mm
    Mazda 6 length 4865
    Width 1840
    So a car 38mm longer and 59mm wider is to big ?
    Are you all that bad at driving , not to mention the fuel usage is a lot closer in the real world than what the stickers on the windscreen would make you believe , get out from behind the keyboards and put your opinions aside and actually take the cars you all bag so much for a drive , you’ll probably find yourselves surprised even if you won’t admit it

    • Golfmother

      Interesting about the fuel stickers , with GM and FORD pushing hard for these to be scrapped , all the others are content , in the real world they are gas guzzlers , and are too heavy , more modern machinery are much lighter , size is insignificant but weight is a big problem .

      • Rick

        I’ll give you an example .
        on a recent trip with a mate and his family , my 2011 fg xr6 turbo ute manual used less fuel than his 2012 ford mondeo titanium .
        His mondeo had 2 adults and 3 pre teen kids , the falcon had 2 adults and 2 450cc dirt bikes .
        The falcon used 1.17l less fuel than the mondeo over 1273km trip.
        The one thing that the fuel stickers don’t calculate is weight. remember fuel efficiency testing is done on a dyno , not in the real world . Which is exactly why falcons / commodores etc generally return similar fuel figures to what is claimed and mid sizer don’t

        • $29896495

          As you know, the Mondeo is a full size car like the Mazda 6. Turbos do tend to drink when you make them work hard keeping something that size or a Falcon, moving like a 6. It’s just the way it is, there’s no magic, you get back what you put in.

        • Sfddsf

           Extra weight is calculated on the fuels stickers. It’s done on special rollers which give extra friction when a heavier car is sitting on them. Thats’ how cars like the Falcoone powered Territory end up with higher fuel stickers.
          There is nothing in Falcoone/Crummer that makes them more efficient than “mid sizers”. The Mondeo is a poor example as it is by far the thirstiest in that segment. It’s now going on almost %50 thirstier than the new Mazda6.

          • Rick

            No it’s a mathematical equation , not special rollers . It works out as about 1% for every 50kg of weight

        • Monk

          And I recently did a 550km round trip in the XR6 Turbo manual sedan – FULLY loaded boot and 2.5 people – still had 200km left on the expected range.  Cruising in 6th at 110km/h at 2,000 RPM uses bugger all fuel – and 500+Nm of torque to overtake with at that. 

  • Al Tungupon

    Now that the Territory has a diesel, why not offer that engine as an option to the Falcon? I know that there is the Eco LPi option, but the oiler will most certainly increase fill-up intervals, which is ideal for long drives. Sydney-Melbourne will be a piece of cake, and towing will be easier as well.

    • Rick

      I agree a diesel would have been a better decision than the Eco boost . But once again if you don’t tell anyone about it , no one will now it exists, so it still won’t sell

    • Monk

      Can’t agree more!

  • Rick

    I was impressed with the power the mondeo made the turbo motor works quite well , even if it has to work harder to enjoy it , however I think I’ll keep the xr6 turbo it’s better to drive easier to live with and actually uses less fuel , just wish they would do something with the interior it feels dated .
    Now with 86000km on the clock hasn’t been back to the dealer for anything , still no rattles or squeaks , very impressed .

  • Dennis

    Problem with this market is the “Medium” Cars are actually very close to the Large cars in Size.

    For me the new Mazda 6 isn’t a medium car.

    It’s only 3.8 cm’s smaller than a VE Commodore in length and 5.9cm in width.

    • $29896495

      In other words, about the size of a Falcon.

      • Dennis

        Exactly