* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to David *
In 1998 the Australian car market breaks its own record for the 2nd time in a row, up 12% to pass the 800,000 annual units for the first time at 807,649, only one year after breaking the 700,000 units mark for the first time! This year the Holden Commodore takes a definitive advantage over the Ford Falcon, whose bold design has backfired in the country. In fact, the Holden Commodore reaches what will remain its strongest ever volume this year with sales up 23% to 94,642 and 11.7% share. This is still to this day the highest annual volume of any model in Australia. The Falcon reversely is down 4% to 68,75 units and 8.5%.
The other big event in Australia this year happened in June, when the Hyundai Excel delivered one of the biggest surprises in the Australian car history by ranking #1 thanks to very aggressive price promotions. This is to my knowledge the first time since 1948 that an import model manages to take the lead of the Australia ranking… The Excel finishes the year in third place at a record 44,018 sales and 5.5% share…
Among other models to break their volume record this year we find the Toyota Camry/Vienta, up 36% to 42,031 units at #4, the Toyota Hilux up 25% to 20,820, the Ford Festiva up 32% to 20,170 and the Nissan Pulsar up 41% to 19,835. The Mitsubishi Lancer is up 40% to #10, the Toyota Starlet up 42% to #11, the Nissan Patrol up a huge 168% to #15, threatening the Toyota Land Cruiser at #11, the Toyota Prado up 48% to #17 and the Toyota RAV4 up 45% to #26.
Among the newcomers within the Top 50, notice the Honda CR-V landing directly at #23, the Holden Vectra at #24, the Subaru Forester at #32 and the Daewoo Nubira at #33. A sign that Hyundai’s fortunes could be about to turn, the Hyundai Lantra is down 36% to #27 while the Hyundai Sonata is down 38% to #41…
Previous year: Australia 1997: Commodore and Falcon down, Kia lands
Next year: Australia 1999: Commodore leads but down 10%
Full Year 1998 Top 50 Ranking Table below.