The Hyundai i30 has beaten the Toyota Corolla in the monthly sales race before, but this is the first time both Korean cars have overtaken the former Number One.
- shares

The Toyota Corolla – the last passenger car to top the Australian market before utes began to dominate – is under siege after posting three of its weakest monthly sales results in 20 years.

The Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato small cars outsold the Toyota Corolla in September, as sales declined by 34 per cent in a market that was down by 20 per cent.

The Hyundai i30 has outsold the Toyota Corolla on 19 individual months since March 2010, however this is the first time the Kia Cerato has overtaken the Corolla.

It is also the first time both the Hyundai and Kia have delivered a one-two punch in a given month.

According to official figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Toyota reported 1462 Corolla sedans and hatches as sold, versus 1786 Hyundai i30 hatchbacks, and 1599 Kia Cerato sedans and hatches.

The Hyundai-Kia victory comes despite the Corolla having the unique option of hybrid power.

Although the Hyundai i30 (down 27 per cent) and Kia Cerato (down 20.9 per cent) posted sales declines compared to the same month the previous year, their slide wasn’t as dramatic as it was for the Toyota Corolla.

The Toyota Corolla’s sales decline comes amid a price rise for the former Number One, while Hyundai and Kia have largely maintained their $20,000 to $25,000 drive-away entry offers.

While the sales upset is yet another indicator of the shift away from passenger cars and towards SUVs, the Toyota Corolla result is notable.

The Toyota Corolla has posted a monthly sales tally of less than 2000 only six times in the past 20 years – and three of those occasions were this year (April: 1195, August: 1464, September: 1462).

The previous lowest point for the Toyota Corolla was 1454 sales in May 2011.

It’s a surprising fall from grace from the former Number One. The Toyota Corolla led the Australian new-car market for three years in a row from 2013 to 2015.

The Toyota Corolla’s sales success came after the Mazda 3 ended the Holden Commodore’s 15-year winning streak in 2011 and backed it up with another market win in 2012.

The Toyota HiLux ute has been Australia’s top-selling vehicle outright since 2016 – and is on track to notch up a fifth win in a row in 2020.