Sales for the first quarter of the year are wrapped, with March sales up 7.4 per cent on February, and 2013 sales up five per cent on 2012 year-to-date.
The 97,400 new passenger cars, SUVs, utes and trucks sold in March contribute to a 273,048 sales total for the first quarter, fuelling predictions of a 1.155 million market this year.
In March, Holden slumped to fifth place overall, edged out by both Nissan and – for the first time ever – Hyundai, which sat in third and fourth place respectively, while Toyota maintained first, and Mazda remained in second place.
Also for the first time ever, the Holden Commodore fell out of the top 10 selling cars both for March (1606 sales, 12th place) and so far this year (4995 units, 11th spot). Holden says it isn’t concerned as it winds down VE Commodore production approaching the switch to the VF Commodore generation in May.
The Nissan Pulsar just beat the Commodore in March, finding 11th spot and 1644 sales, and contributing to its marque’s sizeable gains. Impressive performances from the Hyundai i20, i30 and ix35 saw the Korean manufacturer get within six sales of Nissan and third place – 8402 sales versus 8408.
Three of the top five selling models year-to-date are now utes – with Toyota HiLux in third (9193 sales), Nissan Navara fourth (7618) and Ford Ranger making a lunge from 10th to fifth with 7355 units shifted. All three can’t quite match the storming performance of the two smalls cars which lead the top two places year-to-date, the Mazda 3 (10,509) and Toyota Corolla (9630).
In the monthly sales race, the Mazda 3 tallied 3786 for the podium top spot, with HiLux (3552) and Corolla (3512) on the lower steps. Two other small cars were inside the top 10 – the Hyundai i30 found fourth spot (2595) and Holden Cruze sixth (2335) – with Nissan Navara (2499) squeezed before Cruze, and Mitsubishi Triton (1992) just after.
The Toyota Camry fell into eighth place, joining the Cruze as the only Australian built cars inside the top 10. The Cruze is the single top 10 selling locally produced car year-to-date.
Although the market is up overall, passenger vehicle sales fell 4.0 per cent year-to-date, while the SUV market grew 13 per cent. Rounding out the top 10 in March were the Mazda CX-5 (1830 sales – ninth) and Holden Captiva (1660 units – tenth).
Special mentions to the Ford Focus, which has leapt to 10th place year-to-date, and Honda which has grown by 80 per cent year-to-date, edging out Subaru for ninth spot on the manufacturer’s leader board. The sales increase has particularly been driven by the Honda CR-V (1336 sales in March) which was beaten only by the CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 (1528) in the compact SUV class.
The top five light cars in March are the Toyota Yaris (1541 sales), Mazda 2 (1476), Hyundai i20 (1183), Suzuki Swift (1063) and Kia Rio (955), although the segment is down 7.2 per cent for the month and up just 3 per cent year-to-date.
Toyota Camry held a crushing three-to-one lead over the Mazda 6 (474 sales) in the medium class, while even the Holden Commodore’s poor performance in the large car segment is still almost double that of the Ford Falcon, which posted just 831 monthly sales.
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – March 2013
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – 2013 to date
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – March 2013 (growth over March 2012)
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – 2013 to date (growth over 2012 to date)