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by Tim Beissmann

The popularity of Australian made cars surged in July, with five of the top 11 models sold for the month produced on our shores.

Meanwhile, Toyota returned to the top of the sales charts as production and stock levels continue to normalise following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster in March.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 80,991 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in July 2011, down 1.7 percent (1385 vehicles) compared with July 2010.

Increased vehicle supply helped Toyota Australia leap well clear of the competition, after two consecutive months of narrowly trailing Holden in second position.

Subaru also enjoyed a strong month, increasing over June, while the other manufacturers in top 10 slipped backwards on the back of a strong end to the 2011 financial year.

Top 10 sales by marque:

  1. Toyota – 12,980
  2. Holden – 10,819
  3. Ford – 7769
  4. Hyundai – 7226
  5. Mazda – 6984
  6. Nissan – 5207
  7. Mitsubishi – 4972
  8. Volkswagen – 3428
  9. Honda – 3257
  10. Subaru – 3022

The Holden Commodore returned to its top-selling position for the month and has once again crept ahead of the Mazda3 as Australia’s most popular car for 2011. After seven months, the Commodore leads by just 81 units.

The Ford Falcon and Ford Territory were a surprise double act in the top 10 for Ford Australia, while the Toyota Camry just missed the list in 11th place with 1372 vehicles registered in July.

Top 10 sales by model:

  1. Holden Commodore – 3551
  2. Mazda3 – 3290
  3. Toyota HiLux – 3147
  4. Holden Cruze – 3123
  5. Toyota Corolla – 2502
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2232
  7. Ford Falcon – 1835
  8. Mitsubishi Lancer – 1539
  9. Ford Territory – 1445
  10. Mazda2 – 1421

The Hyundai Getz’s domination of the light car segment appears to be over, as the last of the phased out vehicles leave dealerships. It recorded 1094 sales for the month. The Mazda2 was the top seller for July, ahead of the Nissan Micra (1184) and the Toyota Yaris (1121).

The usual suspects did the damage in the small car segment, with the top five sellers all appearing in the overall July top 10. The locally manufactured Holden Cruze was just 168 units away from eclipsing the Mazda3 and scoring an unprecedented 1-2 result for Holden.

The fleet favourite Toyota Camry dominated the medium car segment ahead of the Ford Mondeo (562), Volkswagen Passat (516) and the recently refreshed Honda Accord Euro (482).

The Commodore outsold the Falcon at a rate of almost 2:1, although the Falcon finally cracked the 10,000-sales mark for the year to sit on 10,918 units. The Commodore is on 24,583, while the only other volume seller in the large segment, the Toyota Aurion, sold 778 for the month to hit 5051 for the year. The trio is down 22.5 per cent compared with the same time last year, from 52,322 vehicles to 40,552.

The Subaru Forester (1081) just held off the Hyundai ix35 (1063) and the Nissan X-Trail (1002) to strengthen its lead in the compact SUV segment. The Toyota RAV4 clawed its way back into fourth position with 909 sales.

The Territory was clearly the highest selling SUV in the country for the second consecutive month, dominating the Holden Captiva 7 (765) and the Toyota Prado (655) in the medium SUV segment.

The Volkswagen Touareg (279) narrowly took the points in the luxury SUV category, slotting in ahead of the BMW X3 (258) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee (255).

The Toyota HiLux was the top seller in both the 4×2 and 4×4 pick-up segments (1104 and 2043 respectively). The Commodore-based utility was the next best 4×2 (876) while the Nissan Navara was the second ranked 4×4 pick-up (1238).