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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)

  • Yetiman

    Well done Honda, now bring us a proper Type R.

  • AussieJ14

    Good to see mazda skip past holden!

    • Tony

      So much for you being an Aussie mate… 

      • Doubleblue

         I’m an “Aussie” too Tiny but also believe it’s good to see Mazda skip past Holden.!

        • Henry Toussaint

           You are the type of person to make people lose jobs from Holden…

          • Sam

            I assume you’re kidding?
            The only Holden manufactured here that has direct competition from Mazda is the Cruze (vs. the 3). Consumers will pick what fits their needs.

          • MK1

            Driven a Cruze the other day, worst car I have touched in the last 10 years.

          • RipcurlHurley34

            Thats a little harsh! How will it make em lose their jobs mate? The only way I can think of is if I don’t buy their cars!

          • Al Tungupon

            It just costs too much to build cars here, so unfortunately, it’s inevitable that many jobs will be lost. It also doesn’t help that Ford and Holden don’t make quality, world-class vehicles.

          • Moanotherbeer

            Hey money talks. Whoever gives the customers the better product, they win. Customers are king! Workers are second priority.

      • Moanotherbeer

        Has nothing to do with being Aussie dude.

    • Guest

      Whatever the merit of their cars, Holden invested $29 BILLION in Australia between 2001 and 2011, and employs 4661 people here.Mazda make better cars but at the end of the day all they do is flog metal off of ships. I’d much rather a successful Holden to a successful Mazda.

      • Rdavidson

        Think you need to move the decimal point to left and take off $500 million. Yes $1.5 billion is close and they will never spend it again because they have made losses ever since (one year the said they made a profit but actually it was Australian government money)

        • JooberJCW

          but 4661 x avg 70,000 in paid wages is 326 million dollars / year to Australian people and a cut back to tax, Don’t forget let alone B2B contracts on parts / services / logistics, their expenses are for other Australians’ gain.

      • Golfmother

        So the yanks risked 29billion for 4661 jobs , more the fool they are for building the wrong car , you sure its not 2.9bill .

    • Crummydore

      Can you perhaps elaborate?

      Do you not like Holden, had issues with their cars reliability, don’t like the sound they make when they start?

      C’mon, give us something because your comment means nothing.

      • AussieJ14

        I’ve had lots of experience with Holdens. Their no good mostly. Obviously you are a Holden fanboy mate.

        • Crummydore

          No, not a fanboy – just don’t see the point in your comment.

          Do you feel that it is best that Holden fail in a market where importers have it easy, yet Aussie manufacturers are up against it with exchange rates, plus everything else?

        • Sam

          ‘Their no good mostly’. I don’t believe you’ve ever owned one. IMy family has owned 6 Holdens, all Commodores which have never let us down. 

          • DW-128HACK-Q0046

            Either your lying or he’s lying. I believe AussieJ14.

          • Egertonr

            Likewise, 2 commodores over 20 years all up. Never a breakdown, while family with “fancy” imports always having expensive repairs. Just bought 1.4 turbo Cruze – great little car!

    • DarkAusssie

      Good results for Ford this month! And yes it is good to see mazda skip holden!

      • Golfmother

        No sales are up 32% on last year , they are kicking goals with small cars , its just the falcoon thats history .

        • Gibbut

          And that’s exactly what ford wants

        • Joe

          Yes, Ford do sell some really top shelf imported cars. Funnily enough though, the Territory is locally produced and yet it seems to outsell cars like the Kluger, CX9, Santa Fe & Sorento each and every month. Not a bad effort for a suposedly inferior quality locally designed and made car. As for the Falcon, and Commodore, it’s not so much the quality and price, as it is the perception.

      • Zaccy16

        yep great result for mazda and ford, the focus shuld be up with the mazda 3 for sales in the small car class!

    • Yetiman

      Very insensitive comment. Perhaps this is good for our car industry, make smaller cars.

    • JoeR_AUS

      Well Mazda is going very bad ever where else. So, whats unique for Mazda in Australia?


      • Sydlocal

        Not quite JoeR_AUS. The Mazda3 is a regular top seller in Canada and has been for quite a few years now and long before the Mazda3 was a top seller in this country. Plus the CX5 is starting to change their fortunes as they are struggling to keep up with world wide demand and are selling WELL above their targets. However they are still small fish in the scheme of things!
        I also guess Australians prefer handling and steering feel over looks and a cushy ride and don’t care about road noise much which is what the majority of the Mazda range provide. Plus it is well known Australians always seem to like the underdog! 😉

        • Ash

          Road noise is because of low profile better handling wheels….
          Ugly?, well the majority of Australian and most private buyers do not think Mazda are ‘ugly’…that is why they sell so well..

        • Darryl

          Mazda 3 was number 9 on the Canadian sales charts last year and in 2011, beaten by Civic, Elantra and Corolla in the compact class.

          • Sydlocal

             Well it was number 1/2 up to a couple of years ago! :-)

      • Gibbut

        Aussies like ugly cars?

      • Ash

        Mazda’s problem has been supply, the all new Skyactiv range Mazda 3, then CX-5 and now new 6 is selling so fast they have tripled production forecasts.
        Europe is still in recession and no car company is “doing well’, in USA, supply is a problem, Mazda can’t make enough cars, hence a new plant in Mexico to open in 12 months, new plant in Russia, new Transmission plant in Thailand….Mazda re coming back VERY strong since divorcing Ford, FORD was holding Mazda back..

    • Zaccy16

      yep very good, people are finaly relising how rubbish the korean holdens are!

      • Tom

        You constantly say this exact same nonsense. There is nothing wrong with Holden’s current cars, the ‘Korean’ Holdens are average cars, but they do their job. You clearly have no experience with them.

        • Ash

          Holden’s Korean (Daewoo) built made and designed cars are rubbish!

    • Adelaide_john

      why ?

  • dave

    Good results for the Focus and Ford overall. Holden must be worried about the Cruze…

    • CS

      Holden with Cruze/Commodore combined still short of top spot – time they had a good and unbiased look at the market and what people want, and stop trying to flog a dead horse…

      • JoeR_AUS

        This is what happened to SAAB, 8 years on a single model with the VE.

        The markets expects major change every 2-3 years.No money , no future.

        • Kd

          8 Years? Your math is terrible!

          VE came out September 2006, we’re now February 2013 which is 6 years and 5 months.

          • JoeR_AUS

            September to February, is 6 months unless you include the days like you did with the months for the years.

      • Sam

        Do you fail to see that they’re both in the top 10? Clearly the market does want them.

        • Sydlocal

          I agree Sam. Australia has so many different brands and models (even more than the US from what I understand) that making it into the top 10 is still a good effort. Sure it isn’t as good as days gone by, but it is still good.

    • Zaccy16

      yep finaly people have relised how bad the crude is compared to rivals

      • Martin

        Especially that asthmatic 1.8L engine with an automatic transmission. My brother-in-law’s CD frustrates the hell out of me. I thought it was just his car but the hire car we had in Tasmania did the same.

        • Zaccy16

          yep, its a horrible outclassed, unrefined engine that shouldn’t be still in production!

  • Aus_poppa

    Maybe Ford has finally learned how to sell something other than the Falcon, and Focus has now made it to the best sellers list, where it is in many other countries. Imagine if they had left in place the plans to make it here – as an Australian manufactured car it would have opened up enormous fleet sales.Don’t know which will kill Ford here, wrong decisions or good decisions made too late.

    • John

      Ford made their choice. Build the Focus here or put the money towards new engines for Falcon & Territory. With hindsight they made the wrong decision. It’s easy to criticise (and fun too!) but I guess they would have copped a caning no matter what they did.

      It is however indisputably a shame that Ford don’t make the Focus here.

    • Zaccy16

      yep they should have made the focus here, would have been 10 times better than the crude, if the focus was made here i would have bought one

    • Martin

      Didn’t they have cheap finance on the Focus range? Would definitely bias my decision towards them even with Nissan, Honda and Holden offering dirt cheap finance.

  • F1orce

    I can’t believe Mazda outsells Honda!!

    It’s just not right!

    • Rtgtrth

      honds make BORING toyota clones that target fat americans, Mazda make cars that are fun that people enjoy.
      15 or 20 years ago honda may have been one of the leading japanese manufacturers when they had great products but look at what they do now, their cars are for the bowls club crowd.
      Their only ‘good’ car the Euro is a huge disappointment when you actually test drive it.
      In this decade Hyundai is a better company the honda

      • Ash

        Yes HONDA were….sadly most of Australian made Honda’s are made in Thailand…Mazda tried it with the Mazda 2 for a few months, the complaints from Mazda Dealers put a stop to that and Mazda Australia went back to Japan made.
        Mazda buyers in Australia know quality and can not be fooled…
        HONDA made some monumental errors of supply, Mazda did it, Honda just burnt all their customers with Thailand built cars which gave many problems.
        BTW: The Ford Fiesta is Thailand made, out of the same plant the Thai Mazda 2 came from!?

        • Darryl

          Huh? What about all the utes that come from Thailand, including BT-50. No  issues there, going by the number sold in January.

        • andrew22

           Mazda stopped building the 2 in Thailand because they needed the production time and space for BT50/Ranger. The thai built 2 was not different in quality and the paint was accually better on the thai one due to a new factory and paint systems. Get you facts straight

    • Zaccy16

      again F!orce, honda make americanised cars (except for the accord euro and crz) when mazda made desirable fun to drive cars that are also value for money

    • Sydlocal

       Other than the extremely well built but compromised (a car that physically large shouldn’t be so cramped in the back) Accord Euro, name another current Honda that has the ‘spark’ that the Hondas of old from the 90s etc had? Admit it, Honda have gone soft…

  • SuperChar

    What do you expect when the AUS manufacturers (except Toyota) are producing such woeful quality cars.  The more overseas cars people buy, the more they realise how bad their AUS cars really are/were.  A new generation of buyers: Gen Y and soon Gen Z, are coming through the ranks and are not tied to the AUS car industry and therefore objectively look for the best car, not the one their mum and dad bought. 

    Before I get a “please provide facts”, yes I own a current model G6 (and have owned 2 commodores in the past).  The G6 quality is rubbish, it has been back to the dealer many times, twice with major issues (suspension failure, massive engine oil leaks).  All I get from the dealer is poor excuses about lazy workers the day my car was built.  Not good enough.  By contrast I have owned numerous Japanese cars in the past, and still have a ’06 Patrol.  Bullet proof in reliability and quality.  While styling, handling and performance are a subjective matter in the car industry, build quality is not. In today’s world, cars should not have such significant issues when purchased new.

  • Michael

    ok stop the fighting people. it’s quite obvious. 
    it’s because ALL Holdens are UGLY and majority are driven by bogans !!

    • Richard Joash Tan


      • Michael

        You’re obviously one of those Holden bogans :-)

        • Golfmother

          Check his activity , loves that word bull**t ,

          • Darryl

            and caps lock is stuck on

          • Golfschwein

            Oh, I’ve done that before. He’s huge fun. Check out his facebook page, where he has zero security. Hilarious!

      • Michael

        Just a bit of mucking about, but seriously though, Holden doesn’t exactly have a good looking car as part of the range right now

        • Sam

          What about the Commodore?

          • Force-15

            To be honest they kind of ruined it with the Series II update. Don’t even get me started about the E2-Series HSV’s…

  • interested

    CA, how about making it the top 20, there’s a lot of models of interest that don’t make the top 10 anymore

    • Julia_Gillards_No_1_fan

      Luxury Marques is what I am interested in… None of the fleet sales do anything for anyone.

      • Zaccy16

        im sorry about julia she will be kicked out in 8 months time! a hole 16 points behind the coalition! 

  • Dave S

    The biggest loser here is the Australian economy, as people sacrafice jobs and send our money overseas for cheaper cars.

    • Golfmother

      Blame juliar and the return of  penalty rates , its scary the number of retrenchments and moves to offshore in many industries . 

      • horsie

        lets go back to John howards work choices. then we can all work for $9 an hour like in America. 

        • Golfmother

          So you were earning $9 , rubbish , its penalty rates that are crippling jobs , watch more get retrenched and its not just the car industry .

  • Not a fanboi

    Where the fact is the Camray? Wasn’t it no.1 or no.2 last month or somethin? Is this a mistake???

    • Sydlocal

      Fleet companies usually don’t buy cars in January. It will be back on top at the end of this month.

  • Hung Low

    If Nissan starts to flog off as many Pulsars as they anticipate, they will be in the top 3 as well.

  • Sydlocal

    I am surprised the new Corolla didn’t beat the old Mazda3. I thought there were enough pensioners out there to ensure it won! Either way it should be on top at the end of Feburuary when fleet sales kick back in.

    • Ash

      Journalist are already reporting that the old Mazda 3 is a better all round car then the all new Toyota Corolla…so just wait until the all new Mazda 3 in 7 months time.!!!
      I have seen renderings and it is a giant killer…again!

  • JoeR_AUS

    And Mazda looks good?

    The real story here is any body wanting to buy a Commodore will wait for the new VF.

  • Dave W

    Every month the same argument. Let the car that best suit the market’s taste and needs wins. 

  • Antmindel

    I am pleased to see that Hondas figures are the same as VWs,as they truly deserve to sell more,their cars are so well built and reliable.
    What a pity we dont have the Euro diesel or wagon models,they missed out an oppoerunityby not introducing them locally years ago… 

  • Stop_the_boats

    Ford Australia must be happy, falcoon no where in sight .

  • Al Tungupon

    The Focus finally got the recognition it deserves. It’s much better than the Cruze and hopefully, sales for the coming months would be promising.

    • F1orce

      That awful 1.6 in that chubby car is considered good??!

      • Joe

        The 1.6 litre is only available in 1 out the the 5 models in the Focus range. All of the other models come with a top shelf 2.0 litre engine.
        BTW, why should Ford be immune to selling cars to people who don’t consider performance that important. The lack of performance hasn’t hindered sales of Corolla, Cruze, i30 etc.

  • gtrxuone

    Tough times for the local vechle builders.To be honest it looks like Labour and Liberal no longer want local car industry.
    Looks like the majority of Aussies don’t care a stuff either.One day they will,but it will be to late by then.

    • Dave W

      I want a local car industry… that isn’t dictated by foreign international corporations. Because they don’t give a t0ss about our local industry either.

      Their cars aren’t selling and what do they do? Spend millions on sponsorship. WOW… That’ll get people through the door.

  • Callum Andrews

    With Falcon EcoLpi you get the same running costs of a
    Toyota Corolla and spend less time at the fuel pump than a Toyota Corolla. Yet
    more power than the petrol 6 cylinder Falcon. Its crazy Australians need to
    test drive a Falcon Ecoboost, Ecolpi and I6 turbo and see how efficient they
    really are. Why have a Toyota Corolla when you can have a full size, powerful
    Falcon for the same fuel costs yet the Falcon can tow up to 2.3tonne and kick
    its backside in performance???? Plus
    when you buy a Falcon you know your supporting our Australian jobs, a car that
    was built especially for our Australian roads and will run up to 600,000 km.
    That’s why these cars are used as taxis because they can do the km unlike any
    other car. Large sedan power, towing, space, comfort, luxury, same running
    costs as a Ford Fiesta and less time at the pump then a Toyota Corolla. Then
    you got Falcon Ecoboost. 4 cylinder engine. Giving you 4 cylinder economy and 6
    cylinder performance. Pulling the Falcon as easily as the 6 and as smooth if
    not smoother. Falcon isn’t what is use to be. Falcon is now one of the best
    cars around. And Australians don’t know about all these new engine technologies
    in Falcon now. That’s why Falcon sales have slipped because no one knows about
    EcoLpi and Ecoboost due to lack of marketing. And if they did then the sales