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by Daniel DeGasperi

Around one in seven new passenger cars purchased in 2013 were classified as a medium car by industry accountant VFACTS, with the Toyota Camry crushing its competitors with a 38.7 per cent share in the cheaper bracket.

A total of 24,860 units of the Melbourne-built Camry were shifted last year, and although the model was down 8.7 per cent year-to-date, a strong showing in December saw it sell 3534 – a full 986 more than the Holden Commodore, making it the most popular Australian built car in the final month of last year. Overall, Camry was only one spot on the charts – 6th versus 5th – and 2906 units away from dethroning the Commodore from that title for the whole year.

On the back of a new-generation model launched in 2013, the Mazda 6 reclaimed its second-place position from the Ford Mondeo for the first time since 2010. It notched up 7701 sales, an increase of 13.2 per cent, and securing a 9.3 per cent share of the class.

The Ford Mondeo, which launched locally in 2007 and won’t be replaced until next year, didn’t even make third place this year, its 3089 total down a huge 40.6 per cent year-on-year, and its share of the class falling from 7.4 to 5.2 per cent.

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It was forced into fourth by the Volkswagen Passat (3280 sales, down 24.8 per cent but with a 5.6 per cent share of the class) and almost fell to fifth thanks to a surging Honda Accord, up 92.1 per cent with 3006 sales and a 5.1 per cent share of the class. Add Accord Euro figures (1834, down 70.2 per cent) and the Honda duo would have secured second.

Although ditching the i45 meant Hyundai’s total share of the medium car class almost halved from 8.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent, the single remaining i40 model was up 12.8 per cent for the year, securing 2699 sales.

It also meant the i40 passed the Liberty in total sales, the Subaru falling a mammoth 40.7 per cent to just 2613 sales and 4.4 per cent share.

Without full-year sales under their belt, the Holden Malibu and Nissan Altima are yet to fire, but December sales tallied 194 and 184 respectively.

Other mid-sizers languishing for the year are the Kia Optima (1823 sales, down 19.6 per cent), Skoda Octavia (1237, falling 35.3 per cent), Suzuki Kizashi (650, behind by 36.3 per cent) and Volkswagen Jetta (2476, dropping 6.1 per cent).

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In the cut-throat ‘Medium >$60K’ bracket – the bread-and-butter big sellers for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – the C-Class maintained its station as the top seller, despite being down 10.7 per cent, with 5963 sales.

The BMW 3 Series nipped at its heels with 5562 sales, up 1.3 per cent, meaning the Benz and BMW actually placed third and fourth behind the Mazda 6 in the overall medium car rankings.

The ageing Audi A4, meanwhile, sold almost half, down 9.4 per cent with just 2488 sales.

In 2012, the medium segment passed the large segment for the first time with a comfortable 24,400 lead and 15.4 per cent rise on the year prior. Although the large segment has dropped by 14.7 per cent in 2013, the medium segment fell by 12.6 per cent – though ‘Medium <$60K’ dropped 16.4 per cent while ‘Medium >$60K’ climbed 1.5 per cent.




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