Recording retail sales of 3124 units for that month, up 7.2 per cent month-on-month for 2008, it is the first time the Japanese brand has topped the sales charts in Australia in its 50 year history.
The Mazda3 sold strongly to push aside the other major small car challenger Toyota's Corolla, which sold 2763 units for the month, and the traditional local favourite the Holden Commodore, which came in second with 3059 sales for January.
The Ford Falcon managed just 1630 sales and is in serious danger of being challenged by internal rival the Ford Focus, which recorded 1346 sales as Australians continued their swing towards small cars. In fact the Mitsubishi Lancer also almost toppled the Falcon, having sold 1625 units in January.
In total, 6532 Mazda passenger cars and commercials were retailed in January, netting Mazda third place overall with 9.7 per cent market share, a position it snared from global-part-owner Ford, which has slipped to fourth in the sales stakes.
"This is a fantastic result for the Mazda3 sedan and hatch range, though I think the market came to Mazda in January," said Managing Director Doug Dickson. "Mazda3 averaged 3,131 retails in January 2007 and 2008, so in that context the 2009 result is nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, it's pleasing to see that consumers have continued to vote for Mazda and for the Mazda3 in these challenging economic times. I think that's a reflection of the innate value, reliability and enjoyment that Mazda injects into every car in our range."
Mr Dickson said the Mazda3's rise to the top of the sales charts was a fitting closing chapter for the outgoing Mazda3 as Mazda prepares to usher in the new-generation Mazda3 by mid-year.
"The new-generation Mazda3 will be even more attractive to Australian consumers than the Mazda3 that sits atop the sales charts today. It will be more fun-to-drive, more environmentally friendly, and even better value for money."
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