The Toyota Corolla has officially become Australia’s most popular vehicle in 2013, a significant milestone for the Japanese brand that despite dominating the manufacturer’s charts since 2003 has never scored the title of this country’s top-selling nameplate.
In a record year for new car sales that totalled 1.136 million overall, up 2.2 per cent on 2012, Toyota sold 43,498 Corollas in 2013, up 12.1 per cent, dethroning small car rival and 2011 and 2012 sales leader, the Mazda 3, which totalled 42,082 units, down 4.6 per cent.
Toyota sold 214,630 new vehicles across the country in 2013, which, despite being down 1.6 per cent on 2012, was still almost twice as many as second-placed Holden (112,059 and down 2.3 per cent). The result makes the Japanese manufacturer Australia’s most popular brand for the 11th consecutive year.
While 2013 will be remembered as a dark year for the Australian automotive industry – with announcements from Ford in May and Holden in December that each would cease local production in 2016 and 2017 respectively – it will go down in history as the most successful for the industry as a whole, with sales reaching a new record high.
A total of 1,136,227 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in Australia in 2013, eclipsing the old record set the previous year by 24,195 vehicles or 2.2 per cent.
The Toyota HiLux secured third place overall, behind Corolla and Mazda 3, with 39,931 units sold. Its combined 4×2 and 4×4 sales comfortably eclipsed that of its four closest rivals, all which made the top 20 sales overall – Triton (24,512 – 7th), Navara (24,108 – 9th), Ranger (21,752 – 10th) and Colorado (17,203 – 15th).
Fourth place overall switched back to the small car segment, with the Hyundai i30 (30,582 – up 7.9 per cent) just edging out two perennial locally-made models, the fifth-placed Holden Commodore (27,766 – down 9.1 per cent) and sixth-placed Toyota Camry (24,860 – down 8.7 per cent).
With Triton in seventh, eighth place belonged to another Australian built car, the Holden Cruze, which despite the launch of a Series II overhaul earlier in the year fell by a hefty 16.3 per cent to 24,421 units.
Another model built in our backyard just squeezed into the top 20, with the Ford Territory (14,261 – down 2.6 per cent) securing equal-19th place with the Honda Civic, while the remaining locals, the Ford Falcon (10,610 – down 18.4 per cent) and Toyota Aurion (6839 – down 24.6 per cent) were nowhere to be seen on the charts.
On the other side of Navara and Ranger on the charts in 11th place was the Mazda CX-5, which recorded 20,129 sales, up 26.2 per cent and six spots on last year. The CX-5 both snatched the title of Australia’s best selling SUV from the Toyota Prado (14,568 – down 14.5 per cent and in 18th place) and the title of Australia’s best selling compact SUV from the Nissan X-Trail (off the top 20 charts, just 10,701 sold). It also kept its lead ahead of Toyota RAV4 (16,983 – up 15.9 per cent and 16th place), while even another rival beat the X-Trail this year, with the Hyundai ix35 recording 19,068 sales, up a staggering 66.5 per cent, to secure 13th place overall.
Squeezed between CX-5 and ix35 overall was the Ford Focus (19,180 – up 3.2 per cent) in 12th place, while fellow small car rival the Volkswagen Golf (17,342 – up 0.3 per cent) nabbed 14th just ahead of Colorado and RAV4.
The Mazda 2 leads the charge of the light brigade, in 17th position overall with 15,167 sales, beating last year’s winner of the light car class the Toyota Yaris that dropped a huge 23.2 per cent overall (14,437) and in the process fell from 9th overall in 2012 to 21st place in 2013.
Passenger cars represented half of all sales in 2013, securing 566,454 sales, down 1.6 per cent on 2012. The SUV segment grew at almost four times the rate of the whole market (8.5 per cent versus 2.2 per cent), with three SUVs in the top 15 in 2013 compared with just one in 2012, and 333,511 high-riders sold.
Light commercial vehicles split the difference, up 3.5 per cent on last year to round out the total market with 204,566 sales.
Toyota and Holden again kept Mazda (103,144 sales, down 0.7 per cent) to third position overall, ahead of Hyundai (97,006, up 6.0 per cent) and Ford (87,236, down 3.5 per cent).
Sixth-placed Nissan (76,733, down 3.8 per cent) kept itself just ahead of an big-improving Mitsubishi (71,528, up 21.5 per cent) while heavily publicised transmission reliability issues no doubt contributed to next-best Volkswagen being more than 15,000 units behind, its 54,892 total rising by just 0.1 per cent.
There was a similar drop to Subaru (40,200, unchanged) that only just managed to continue to keep Honda (39,258, up 9.6 per cent) in 10th position.
While with the exception of Mitsubishi the top 10 marques all either fell or lifted slightly, and while 11th-placed Kia was down 3.2 per cent with 29,778 sales and 14th-placed Suzuki fell 8.2 per cent with 22,075 sales, there were otherwise big movers in the wider top 20 charts.
Biggest improver was Renault, which lifted itself into the top 20 charts for the first time likely since the local manufacturing days of the 1960s and ‘70s, with a stellar 7016 sales up 40 per cent on last year. The French brand pushed ahead of Lexus, which maintained 20th place with 6920 sales, up only 1.2 per cent, while Great Wall fell from 17th out of the charts to 21st, down 44.5 per cent and with 6105 sales.
Isuzu Ute took its rival’s 17th place this year, up two spots, notching up 10,209 sales for a 31.2 per cent rise, while Jeep leapt from 15th to 13th place on the back of a 23.1 per cent rise and 22,170 total.
The top three premium brands were all up, with Mercedes-Benz (27,547 – up 23 per cent and 12th place) remaining ahead of BMW (20,522 – up 11.5 per cent and 15th spot) and Audi (16,009 – 10.1 per cent and 16th rank). Land Rover mantained station in 18th place, with 8350 sales up 5.3 per cent.
Top 20 Best-selling Vehicles – 2013
Top 20 Best-selling Brands – 2013