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by Daniel DeGasperi

The Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion locally-built trio continued the large segment’s sales slump through the first quarter of 2013.

Ford’s sedan from Broadmeadows fell to just 831 units in March, down 34.8 per cent compared with the same month in 2012. Across the first three months of 2013 the Ford shifted just 2477 Falcon sedans – down 27.1 per cent. The Falcon’s sales in the first quarter total 19 units less than what the nameplate sold in the single month of March 2010.

While there’s no facelift for Falcon scheduled until mid next year, the Holden Commodore is two months away from switching from the seven-year-old VE generation to the overhauled VF series. Holden says it expects sales to soften in the lead up to VF, with production of VE winding down, and buyers waiting for the new model.

The VE Commodore still managed to sell 1606 units in March – almost double the Falcon’s total. That figure, however, was down 50 per cent compared with the same month last year, and combined first-quarter sales of 4995 is likewise down 40 per cent compared with last year.

Whether the forthcoming VF Commodore can turn the tide remains to be seen, but March 2013 represented the first month that the Holden Commodore did not feature in the top 10 best sellers – either for the month, or year to date – in the nameplate’s 35 year history.

At least Holden’s other locally built model, the Cruze small car, is now the top selling Australian built model, but the Toyota Camry has surprassed the Commodore as the second most popular local car.

Book-ending the popularity is the Toyota Aurion, the least popular Australian built car, with the V6 version of the Camry shifting just 498 units in March, with a year to date tally of 1095 – down 31.6 per cent.

The large car segment – once Australia’s top selling class – made up just 3.5 per cent of the market in March, and 5.2 per cent for the year. On both accounts it has been passed by the medium car segment, which recorded a 4.3 per cent share for the month, and 5.9 per cent year to date.

Where the medium class is populated by 23 contenders, however, the large class has just eight players – with 85.9 per cent of sales going to the big three large local cars.

Top 5 Best-selling Large Cars – March 2013

Holden Commodore – 1606
Ford Falcon – 831
Toyota Aurion – 498
Honda Accord – 288
Nissan Maxima – 103

Top 5 Best-selling Large Cars – 2013 to date

Holden Commodore – 4995
Ford Falcon – 2477
Toyota Aurion – 1095
Honda Accord – 870
Nissan Maxima – 311




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