The Australian automotive industry is finishing 2010 on a strong note and is now assured of breaking the one million sales mark.
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Year-to-date, with data recorded for 11 months of the year, 948,987 vehicles have been sold, an increase of 11.8 percent compared with the same period last year.

Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 87,342 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in November, up 1.8 percent (1509 vehicles) on the same month in 2009.

The Toyota Corolla was the highest selling new vehicle, with sales up 37 percent year-on-year from 3309 to 4536.

The Holden Commodore was 765 vehicles adrift in second position, while the Toyota HiLux, Mazda3 and Holden Cruze completed the top five.

Top 10 sales by model:

1.Toyota Corolla – 4536
2.Holden Commodore – 3771
3.Toyota HiLux – 3241
4.Mazda3 – 2980
5.Holden Cruze – 2721
6.Ford Falcon – 2368
7.Toyota Yaris – 2270
8.Toyota Camry – 2232
9.Hyundai i30 – 1772
10.Nissan Navara – 1733

Toyota maintained its stranglehold of the market, recording a 22.8 percent share in November, identical to the same month in 2009.

Holden sits in second again with 13.0 percent while Ford hangs on to third position with a 9.0 percent share (1.3 percent below November 2009).

Top 10 sales by marque:

1.Toyota – 19,911
2.Holden – 11,354
3.Ford – 7844
4.Mazda – 6474
5.Hyundai – 6220
6.Nissan – 5263
7.Mitsubishi – 5015
8.Volkswagen – 3427
9.Subaru – 3378
10.Honda – 2488

FCAI chief executive, Andrew McKellar, confirmed November’s figures ensured 2010 would become only the third year that Australian new vehicle sales exceeded one million.

“These figures show new car sales continue to outperform other economic indicators, including retail spending and business investment,” Mr McKellar said.“Much of the strength of the market can be attributed to the affordability of new vehicles, evidenced by the healthy sales to private buyers (up 9.6% in November).”

The SUV market was the strongest performing compared with November 2009. The segment experienced an increase of 13.3 percent, and for the year is almost 29 percent ahead of 2009.

The compact and medium SUV segments have been particularly strong, with the biggest improvers including the Toyota RAV4 (1523 sales, up 29.6 percent), Mazda CX-7 (737 sales, up 36.5 percent) and the Toyota Kluger (1548 sales, up 19.0 percent).

The large car segment was one of the biggest losers, shedding 16.1 percent compared with November 2009. Yearly loses have been less dramatic, with a slide of just 1.6 percent so far.

The Commodore is 5.3 percent ahead year-to-date (42,178 vs 40,041), while the Falcon is down 2.5 percent (27,577 vs 28,274). Sales of the Aurion (down 17.4 percent) are fading faster than Toyota would like.

Some brands on the march this year include Great Wall (6168 sales, up 342.2 percent), Jeep (5567 sales, up 50.8 percent), Suzuki (22,793 sales, up 24.6 percent) and Volkswagen (35,269 sales, up 25.9 percent).

Some of the worst sliders have been Chrysler (1233 sales, down 27.7 percent), Dodge (1645 sales, down 26.6 percent), Fiat (1236 sales, down 29.9 percent) and Renault (1686 sales, down 24.5 percent).

Sales of diesel-powered vehicles in the ‘passenger private’ segment have increased 35.2 percent in 2010, despite a decline of 7.0 percent in November.

Hybrid sales across all segments (private and non-private, passenger and SUV) have increased from 3891 vehicles in the first 11 months of 2009 to 8453 year-to-date in 2010.

A total of 112 electric vehicles have also been registered in Australia this year.