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Australia Full Year 2014: Toyota Corolla holds onto top spot

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in Australia for the 2nd year running.

* UPDATE – See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 310 All-models by clicking on the title *

* Check out 66 years worth of Australia archive data here *

The Australian new car market is down 2% year-on-year in 2014 to 1,113,224 registrations, still making it the 2nd best year of all times in-between 2013 (1,136,227) and 2012 (1,112,032). Interestingly, business fleet sales dropped 7% whereas private sales were up 0.5%, rentals up 2% and government fleet sales up 3%. A symbolic result of the successive announcements by Ford, Holden and Toyota that they would all stop assembling cars locally by 2017, sales of Australian-made cars crashed down 15%, barely edging 100,000 annual units vs. 329,009 (-9%) for Japan-made cars, 236,936 for Thailand-made (-1%), 130,777 for Korea-made (-3%) and 83,811 for German-made, up a fantastic 10%.

Holden Commodore Ute Australia 2014. Picture courtesy of year as high as #2 for Holden at home?

2014 will remain the first year when SUVs accounted for more than 30% of Australian car sales, with this segment up a trend-bucking 6% to 352,347 units or 31.6% share vs. 29.4% in 2013. Reversely, passenger vehicles dropped 6% to 531,596 deliveries and light commercial vehicles fell 3% to 197,956 sales, as the mining boom is smoothing out. In spite of sales down 5% to 203,501 units, Toyota remains the most popular brand in the country for the 12th year in a row and the 18th time in total, also celebrating 10 years above 200,000 annual sales (record: 238,983 in 2008). Toyota also leads commercial vehicle sales for the 36th straight year thanks to the never-abating success of the Hilux, #3 overall like in 2013.

Hyundai Genesis Australia 2014Hyundai tops 100,000 sales for the first time, and aims at 150,000 by 2017.

Hanging onto the 2nd spot for what could be its last time ever, local fare Holden is down 5% to just 106,092 sales and 9% share, its lowest ever market share at home and weakest annual tally in 21 years, since the 96,413 units it sold back in 1993, at a time when the market was half the size of today (555,306 registrations)… With no substantial new launches on the horizon, chances are Holden will be outsold in 2015 by Mazda (which has the CX-3 in the pipeline), down 2% to 100,704 sales this year and snapping the #3 spot back off Hyundai thanks to a December sales surge. But things could get even worse for Holden with Hyundai which topped 6 figures for the first time in Australia at 100,011 deliveries (+3%), making it only the 2nd all-imports brand to ever pass that milestone along with Mazda. Hyundai has made it clear they don’t want to remain #4 and are aiming at 150,000 sales in Australia by 2017, a figure that would lift the manufacturer to a clear 2nd place, potentially teasing Toyota…

Jeep Cherokee Australia 2014. Picture courtesy of All-new Cherokee helped Jeep crack the Australian Top 10 in September.

Illustrating the trend away from local manufacturers, the brands podium was 100% Asian twice this year (in September and November) whereas this event had only ever occurred once before: in February 2013.  In 5th place Ford continues to slip (-9%), Mitsubishi overtakes Nissan to take the 6th spot, Honda (-16%) holds Mercedes (+16%) off the Top 10 thanks to a discount-fuelled December, and Jeep confirms it is the success story of the year, surfing on the SUV trend with sales up a magnificent 37% to 30,408 units. The American manufacturer even cracked the Top 10 for the first time ever in September.

Honda Odyssey Australia 2014. Picture courtesy of Honda Odyssey is up 155% in 2014.

It’s a great year for luxury brands: besides Mercedes just missing out on its first annual Top 10 ranking since 2003, BMW is up 11% to #14, Audi up 20% to #15, Land Rover up 23% to #18 and Porsche up a whopping 48% to #25 while Infiniti is gearing up 45%, Maserati increases its sales threefold and Rolls-Royce is up 145%. Notice also Renault up 43%, Fiat up 37% and Proton up 33%. Reversely, Great Wall tumbles down 57%, Chrysler is at -38%, Chery at -34% and Opel, now discontinued, is down 54%.

Ford Ranger Australia 2013The Ford Ranger is up 22% to a record #6 in 2014

In the models ranking, after an extremely tight race the Toyota Corolla ends up lodging a second consecutive year as the country’s best-seller partly thanks to the arrival of the new generation sedan early in the year. Its sales are up 1% to 43,745, only 422 units above the Mazda3 up 3% to 43,313 deliveries thanks to the new generation launched in late 2013. A testimony of how close the two models are is the fact they both hold a 3.9% market share. The Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla can now each claim two years atop Australian sales charts, with the Mazda leader in 2011 and 2012, marking the 4th consecutive year an import is the best-seller and the third year in a row no locally-produced model ranks on the podium. Bar a surprise and very unlikely reversal that would see car manufacturers return to Australia after 2017, import domination will now be the norm here.

Mazda CX-5 Australia 2014. Picture courtesy of annual Top 10 ranking for the Mazda CX-5, #1 SUV in Australia again.

The Top 5 is unchanged with the Hilux (-5%) ahead of the Hyundai i30 (+3% to hit a best-ever 31,505 units) and Holden Commodore (+9%), while the Ford Ranger boosts onto the blockbuster scene with sales up 22% to a brilliant 6th position overall – even cracking the monthly Top 5 for the first time in October and delivering the nameplate’s best-ever annual volume (26,619), share (2.4%) and ranking, an exceptional performance as the current model is about to be replaced by a new generation in 2015. The Mazda CX-5 remains the best-selling SUV in the country but lodges its first-ever annual Top 10 ranking at #9 with a record 21,571 sales and 1.9% share, as does the VW Golf up 10% to #10 with an all-time high 19,545 units.

Subaru WRX Australia 2014. Picture courtesy of success for the Subaru WRX in Australia

A full 20 years after the nameplate’s original launch and thanks to a 7% surge, the Toyota RAV4 also breaks its volume (18,160), ranking (#12) and share (1.6%) records in Australia, peaking at #8 in April, a performance matched by the Holden Colorado also at best-ever volume (18,084), share (1.6%) and ranking (#13 also reached in 2009). The Jeep Grand Cherokee was among Australia’s 10 most popular nameplates for the first time in May and ends the year at a record 15th place, with sales up a massive 28% to an all-time high 16,582. Notice also the Isuzu D-Max up 11 spots and 19% on 2013 to #25.

The analysis continues below the jump.

Previous post: Australia December 2014: Discounted Triton outsells Hilux

Previous year: Australia Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla finally tops record market

Two years ago: Australia Full Year 2012: No local model on podium for first time since 1930s

Full analysis, Full Year 2014 Top 50 All-brands and Top 310 All-models below.

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