The Toyota Corolla has taken a narrow lead over the Mazda 3 in the race for the 2013 sales crown after another strong month in May.
The Corolla turned a 242-unit deficit into a 369-unit lead last month on the back of 3640 sales, easily accounting for the compact Mazda’s 3054 total. Toyota has now sold 16,774 Corollas so far this year, up 10.2 per cent on the same time last year, while the soon-to-be-replaced Mazda 3 is down 8.3 per cent at 16,405.
While the Corolla wrestled the year-to-date top ranking, it was its stable mate, the Toyota HiLux, which pipped it for the number one position in May with 3665 sales.
Another workhorse, the Mitsubishi Triton, jumped to fourth with 2606 sales, rebounding from a disappointing April in which just 1493 found new homes.
A fierce battle for eighth position between two SUVs was eventually won by the Mazda CX-5, which held off the Hyundai ix35 by just three units (1773 vs 1770), while the Ford Ranger (1702) rounded out the top 10.
While 96,788 May sales put the total market up 0.7 per cent on the same month in 2012, four of the top five manufacturers for the month experienced a dip in sales. Toyota, Holden, Mazda and Ford all fell between 2.5 and 8.0 per cent, while fourth-placed Hyundai was the only winner with a 16.6 per cent gain, spearheaded by the i20 (up 165.4 per cent), i40 (up 140.3 per cent) and ix35 (up 92.2 per cent).