Home > Australia > Australia June 2012: Commodore down to #8 in record market

Australia June 2012: Commodore down to #8 in record market

Holden Commodore

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 best-selling models!  Click on title to see *

While Europe car sales are falling a bit deeper into recession each month and the US is recovering with strong growth off very low bases, one Western country continues to impress: Australia. June 2012 is simply the highest ever month for car sales in the history of Australian automobile. No less. At 112,566 sales it beats the previous record established in June 2010 at 108,722 and 2012 is on track to become a record year with a total of 1.079 million units predicted...

Toyota Hilux (left-hand drive version)

In this euphoric context a once-in-a-lifetime change of guard in the models ranking is unfolding before our eyes. On one side the Toyota Hilux tops the ranking for the third consecutive month (it is the first time ever the Hilux has managed that feat) with 4,308 sales and 3.8% share and is now #2 year-to-date at 19,412 units and 3.5%. The Mazda3 delivers solid month after solid month at 3,924 sales and 3.5% in June and still in pole position year-to-date with 21,813 units and 4%. It is one of 5 small cars in the Top 7 with the Toyota Corolla (#3), Holden Cruze (#4), Hyundai i30 (#6) and VW Golf (#7), all posting strong sales this month.

1978 Holden Commodore. It's the end of an era in Australia

On the other side, and it is not my habit to stress under-performing models but this is too much of an event to ignore it, we have the Holden Commodore, the best-selling car in Australia for 15 years in a row from 1996 to 2010 and ranked within the Top 2 for the entirety of the nameplate's life from 1978 to 2011, down to #8 this month. This is by far the lowest ranking the Commodore has ever been at in the nameplate's 34 years and the horizon is starting to look very dark for what used to be Holden's cash cow.

In fact the Commodore is following the trajectory that took its 'nemesis' the Ford Falcon from ranking within the Top 2 best-sellers in Australia from its introduction in 1960 up to 2005, then falling to #5 in 2007, #10 in 2011 and #28 just last month. This evolution seems inevitable and the next few months could bring some more bad news for the Commodore unfortunately... To understand the enormity of this development in the Australian market it would be a little like the Ford F-Series slipping down the ranking in the US or the VW Golf losing its crown in Germany...

Nissan Navara

Back to positive news: in June the Nissan Navara hits its highest Australian ranking ever in 5th place with a fantastic 3,034 sales and 2.7% share while the Ford Territory is up 9 spots on May to #13 and with 1,800 units delivers its best monthly volume since June 2007, exactly 5 years ago. Notice also the all-new Mazda CX-5 brilliantly leading the SUV segment at #12 with 1,955 sales and an extremely solid 1.7% market share.

Other great performers this month include the Honda Jazz up 9 ranks to #24, the Hyundai ix35 up 7 to #35, the Hyundai Elantra up 12 to #31, the Subaru XV up 12 to #33 and the Hyundai i20 up 22 to #37.

Previous post: Australia May 2012: Now available with All-models ranking!

Previous month: Australia May 2012: Toyota Hilux dominates like never before

One year ago: Australia June 2011: Mazda3 leads, VW Golf at best-ever #4!

Full June 2012 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Australia
  1. Paul
    July 9th, 2012 at 09:23 | #1

    Never have. Renault haven’t really had a big selling car in Australia since the 12, which was made here for a while. Peugeot also used to have a much bigger footprint here back in the 50s and 60s. The Europeans faded out of our market back in the 70s, largely due to import quota restrictions and tax regimes that tended to favour the Japanese, who were more competitive on price and quality, if not on design itself. Things have changed since but decisions of Government here in the 70s largely drove the mass market Europeans out and many have not fully found their way back even now.

  2. Yann
    July 7th, 2012 at 21:56 | #2


  3. Yann
    July 7th, 2012 at 21:55 | #3

    Why French car is not most spelling in Australia ?

  4. Paul
    July 7th, 2012 at 13:47 | #4

    The Australian arms of Ford and Holden could have developed six and V8 pickups and SUV’s that weren’t based on their cars, but weren’t as big and excessive as the American style trucks. The Territory hints a bit at would could have been if this line of thinking had been followed. There probably would have been export markets for such vehicles too. Sadly I think that opportunity came and went around 1988, and now its all too late. Maybe Head Office in the US wouldn’t let them lash out, maybe the “crossover” concept didn’t dawn on them in time, who knows?

  5. July 7th, 2012 at 04:11 | #5

    … strange why the Australians loke Golfs!!!!

  6. Rohan
    July 6th, 2012 at 21:14 | #6

    Funny how we share our biggest selling model with a non-western, emerging economy, namely Thailand. :p
    We really should be building more pickups and SUVs in this country because like it or not, that’s where the market is going. It would require massive investment and big export contracts to happen, but high manufacturing costs here sadly make it unlikely.
    Crunch time is coming soon for the Aussie car industry. :-(
    As an aside, I wonder when the Koreans will get into the pickup market?

  7. Paul
    July 6th, 2012 at 08:21 | #7

    Shades of the month the Camira managed to outsell the Commodore briefly in 1982.

  8. Carlo
    July 4th, 2012 at 23:10 | #8

    I love your work and all but can’t let this one go… Since when was Australia a Western country?

    • matgasnier
      July 4th, 2012 at 23:17 | #9

      Hi Carlo,
      Hehe I knew someone would say something about this :)
      Western as in Western civilisation e.g. along with America and Europe. As opposed to Middle-Eastern and Eastern (Asia).
      Not was Western geographically.
      Come to Australia, you will see it makes sense :)

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