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Australia 1989: Holden Commodore back on top in ‘Falcadore’ era

1988 Holden Commodore VN

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and brands by clicking on the title *

The Australian new car market continues its recovery in 1989: up 16% year-on-year to return above 600.000 annual registrations for the first time since 1985 at 607.499. Ford (+10%) remains the most popular brand in the country at 24.2% share above Toyota at 18.8% (+13%) and Holden at 17.5% (+16%) while other local manufacturers Mitsubishi (+15%) and Nissan (+19%) are catching up a 11.9% and 11.1% share respectively. Mazda (+34%) and Honda (+16%) are the only other brands above 2% share, Hyundai ranks 10th with 6.925 units.

1989 Ford EA Falcon

With the arrival of the VN Series of the Holden Commodore in late 1988, both the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore are now exactly head to head in price and size. This marks the start of over two decades of intense fight between the two models for the title of best-selling car in Australia, commonly known as the ‘Falcadore’ era… After 7 consecutive years of Falcon domination, the Holden Commodore reclaims a pole position it last held in 1981 thanks to 70.831 sales (+23%) vs. 64.281 (-7%) for the Falcon. The changeover happened in March when the Commodore took the monthly lead, and never looked back, edging past the Falcon in the May year-to-date sales charts.

Toyota Lexcen Australia 1989Holden Commodore? No, Toyota Lexcen.

The Mitsubishi Magna, Ford Laser, Toyota Camry and Corolla follow. 1989 is also the year of a new joint-venture between Toyota and Holden, producing odd rebadges such as the Toyota Lexcen (a rebadged Holden Commodore) #10 in December, Holden Apollo (a rebadged Toyota Camry) #12 in November-December, and Holden Nova (a rebadged Toyota Corolla) #16 in November.

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Full Year 1989 Top 20 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

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