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by Tim Beissmann

The Toyota Corolla has issued an ominous warning to its rivals, with the all-new 11th-generation small car soaring to the top of the national sales charts in its first full month in showrooms.

The Toyota Corolla, which recorded 4190 sales last month, continues to shorten as the favourite to become Australia’s top selling car in 2013 after beating this year’s sales leader, the Mazda3, by almost 500 units in November.

The compact Mazda, which is due to be replaced by an all-new model in the second half of 2013, holds an unassailable 4223-unit lead over the third-placed Corolla after 11 months of this year, and looks set retain its title over the second-placed Toyota HiLux after stretching its lead to 1953 vehicles in November.

The Mazda3 has enjoyed sales growth of 3.6 per cent this year while the Corolla is up 8.6 per cent – putting both ahead of the 2.4 per cent average growth witnessed across the small-car segment.

There was daylight between the top two and the next best in November, with the locally produced Holden Cruze (2115) sliding onto the podium more than 2000 units adrift of the Toyota and around 1500 shy of the Mazda.

A particularly strong month for the Ford Focus (1920) saw it surge past the Hyundai i30 (1886) into fourth position for November, as well as wrestling fifth place off the Volkswagen Golf from a year to date perspective (16,671 versus 16,119).

After hitting 2436 sales in October, the Volkswagen Golf came back to Earth last month with 992 deliveries, slipping to eighth behind the Honda Civic (1561) and the Mitsubishi Lancer (1302). The Hyundai Elantra (655) and Kia Cerato (578) rounded out the top 10 ahead of the Subaru Impreza (474), Nissan Tiida (352) and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (289).

Other notables for the month include the recently launched Opel Astra (100), which equalled its best sales result so far, and the Toyota Prius (222), which was up 128.9 per cent over the same month in 2011.

The final standings for the 2012 small car top 10 look largely settled heading into December, with the Cerato seemingly the most likely to cause an upset. If the compact Korean can outsell the Impreza by 232 units it will rise to 10th position and bump its Japanese rival off the charts.


Top 10 best-selling small cars – October 2012

  1. Toyota Corolla – 4190
  2. Mazda3 – 3703
  3. Holden Cruze – 2115
  4. Ford Focus – 1920
  5. Hyundai i30 – 1886
  6. Honda Civic – 1561
  7. Mitsubishi Lancer – 1302
  8. Volkswagen Golf – 992
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 655
  10. Kia Cerato – 578


Top 10 best-selling small cars – 2012 to date

  1. Mazda3 – 39,479
  2. Toyota Corolla – 35,256
  3. Holden Cruze – 27,257
  4. Hyundai i30 – 26,098
  5. Ford Focus – 16,671
  6. Volkswagen Golf – 16,119
  7. Mitsubishi Lancer – 14,287
  8. Honda Civic – 9979
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 8021
  10. Subaru Impreza – 7770