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Australia Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla finally tops record market

Toyota Corolla Australia 2013. Picture courtesy of Australian crown in the Toyota Corolla’s 50 year life.

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* Check out Annual Australian sales figures for the Corolla since 1967 here *.

The Australian new car market smashed the all-time record it established last year by 24,000 sales and 2% in 2013 to 1,136,227 registrations. Australians have now purchased more than one million vehicles for the 4th year running and the 6th time overall. Experts predicts another record in 2014 at 1.145 million units. Aside from record sales figures, it was a tough year for the Australian automotive industry, with both Ford (in May) and Holden (in December) announcing the end of their local manufacturing operations, essentially leaving Toyota as the sold local producer. This being not a sustainable situation, 2013 will possibly remain as the year that triggered the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia.

Renault Clio Australia 2013. Picture courtesy of is the best performing manufacturer in the Top 20: +40%

Brand-wise, Toyota is the first manufacturer in over 30 years to manage to lead the ranking for 11 years in a row thanks to 214,630 sales, more than 100,000 ahead of any other carmaker. Holden is still #2 but delivers its weakest annual volume in two decades at 112,059 units and falls below 10% share potentially for the first time in the history of the brand. In fact in February the brands podium was 100% Japanese (Toyota-Mazda-Nissan) for the first in the history of automobile in Australia! Mazda is stable at #3 but now threatened by Hyundai up 6% to #4, which even outsold Holden for the first time in March! Overall though, the Top 10 brands are unchanged vs. 2012 and the best performing carmaker in the Top 20 this year is Renault up 40% to #19, with other great gainers including Mitsubishi (+22%), Mercedes, Jeep (+23%), BMW (+10%) and Audi (+11%).

Hyundai i30 Australia 2013. Picture courtesy of Hyundai i30 reaches a record 4th place in Australia in 2013.

But the big headline this year in Australia is the arrival of the Toyota Corolla in pole position for the first time, as I predicted one year ago in my Australian forecast for 2013. It is also the first time Toyota places any model in the year-end top spot even though it has been the most popular manufacturer in the country on and off for two decades. In spite of a last minute December surge by the Madza3, leader in 2011 and 2012, the Toyota Corolla is the best-seller in 2013 thanks to sales up 12% to 43,498 vs. 42,082 and -5% for the 3. The Toyota Hilux (-2%) completes a podium 100% imported for only the second time since the 1930s, the first being last year, and delivers its strongest ever month in June at 4,931 sales.

Holden Commodore Australia 2013The new generation limits the Commodore’s fall to 9% this year.

The Hyundai i30 is up 2 spots and 8% on last year to #4 with 30,582 sales and 2.7%, the nameplate’s new all-time high ranking and annual volume, while the Holden Commodore limits its fall to 9% thanks to the arrival of the new VF generation at #5 and 27,766 units, still the nameplate’s lowest ever annual tally. Before the VF launch, the Commodore fell below 2% share at home for the first time ever in January and dropped outside the monthly Top 10 for the first time ever in March but was back on the monthly podium in October thanks to the new gen.

Holden Colorado Australia 2013The Holden Colorado delivers an all-time high annual volume and market share in 2013.

Utes (Australian for pick-up trucks) are strong this year with 5 inside the Top 15 and 3 of them reaching record annual figures. The Mitsubishi Triton is up 32% and 4 spots to #7 with 24,512 sales and 2.2%, its highest ever ranking, volume and share. It broke its monthly ranking twice this year to #5 (February) then #4 (May). the Ford Ranger is up 20% to #10 at 21,652 units and 1.9% – all records, while the Holden Colorado is up 29% to #15 with 17,203 sales and 1.5%, new volume and share highs.

Mazda CX-5 Australia 2013. Picture courtesy of Mazda CX-5 becomes Australia’s most popular SUV in 2013.

2013 is the year of the SUV in Australia: this category grows 4 times as fast as the market at +8%. The Mazda CX-5 is the new SUV king as early as for its first full year in market, up 27% to #11 with 20,129 sales and 1.8%, breaking its monthly ranking record in May to #8. Hyundai solved supply issues for the ix35 by sourcing the Czech model and as a result saw the nameplate shoot up 67% to #13 and 19,098 units, even breaking into the Top 10 for the first time in May at #9. For its part the Toyota RAV4 surged by 16% to land at #16 with 16,983 sales, the nameplate’s strongest ever annual volume, breaking into the Top 10 for the first time in its 20 year-history in August.

The analysis continues below.

Previous post: Australia December 2013: Toyota Camry and Mitsubishi Triton up

Previous year: Australia Full Year 2012: No local model on podium for first time since 1930s

Two years ago: Australia Full Year 2011: Mazda3 breaks 15 years of Holden Commodore domination

More analysis, Full Year 2013 Top 307 All-models and Top 50 brands below.

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