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by Tim Beissmann

The Mazda3 has made a strong start to its title defence as Australia’s top-selling car in 2013 as sales of new vehicles got off to a flying start in January.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reveals 85,430 new vehicles were sold across the country in January – an 11.3 per cent increase over the first month of 2012, in what was a record year for the market.

The Mazda3 – Australia’s most popular car for the past two years – hit 3345 sales in January, giving it a 385-unit buffer over the all-new Toyota Corolla (2960) and a 598-sale lead over the third-ranked Toyota HiLux (2747).

The Nissan Navara’s best January result on record (2474) saw two utes in the top four, while the Ford Focus (2364) surged past traditional top-selling small cars the Hyundai i30 (2006) and the Holden Cruze (1638) to hit the top five.

The pint-sized Mazda2 pipped the Holden Commodore for seventh place (1665 versus 1656), while the Mazda CX-5 ended the month in 10th position overall as the top-selling SUV in the country.

The story was similar from a brand perspective, with Mazda edging Holden out of second position by just 101 cars (8912 versus 8811). Toyota retained its number one ranking despite sales falling 4.9 per cent to 13,375.

Nissan (7248) overtook Hyundai (6816) into the top five on the back of 35.3 per cent growth, and fell just 473 units short of knocking off fourth-placed Ford (7721).

Honda sales (3816) boomed 141.7 per cent over January 2012’s dismal natural disaster-affected result, helping the Japanese manufacturer leapfrog domestic rival Subaru (3014) into ninth place, falling just eight units shy of Volkswagen (3824).

Sales of Australian-made cars slumped to record lows, with the Commodore and the Ford Falcon logging their worst monthly sales performances in history, and the Toyota Camry and Aurion also struggling badly (read more in our breakout story).

Utes and SUVs continue to set the pace for growth as the popularity of traditional passenger cars continues to wane. The light-commercial vehicle segment climbed 43.9 per cent and sales of SUVs were up 20.1 per cent, while the passenger-car market declined 1.3 per cent.

 

Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – January 2013

  1. Mazda3 – 3345
  2. Toyota Corolla – 2960
  3. Toyota HiLux – 2747
  4. Nissan Navara – 2474
  5. Ford Focus – 2364
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2006
  7. Mazda2 – 1665
  8. Holden Commodore – 1656
  9. Holden Cruze – 1638
  10. Mazda CX-5 – 1625

 

Top 10 Best-selling Brands – January 2013 (growth over January 2012)

  1. Toyota – 13,375 (–4.9 per cent)
  2. Mazda – 8912 (+5.1 per cent)
  3. Holden – 8811 (–2.8 per cent)
  4. Ford – 7721 (+32.3 per cent)
  5. Nissan – 7248 (+35.3 per cent)
  6. Hyundai – 6816 (+4.7 per cent)
  7. Mitsubishi – 4449 (–2.9 per cent)
  8. Volkswagen – 3824 (+13.6 per cent)
  9. Honda – 3816 (+141.7 per cent)
  10. Subaru – 3014 (–3.2 per cent)