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Australia January 2015: Mazda3 leads, Holden Cruze up to #5

Mazda3 Australia January 2015. Picture courtesy Mazda3 starts the 2015 race in front.

* UPDATED – Discover the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 47 All brands *

New car sales in Australia are steady in January at -0.2% to 82,116 registrations, however this masks greatly varying behaviours by segments: passenger cars are down 4% while SUVs continues their climb, up a splendid 7% year-on-year to 27,679 registrations or 33.7% market share vs. 31.5% a year ago. Light (+15%) and medium (+13%) cars perform the best, with small SUVs up 18%. Toyota is master in command once again with 16.6% share, Mazda remains 2nd with 11% share despite sales down 4% and above Holden down 5% to 10.2% share. Hyundai holds onto the 4th spot it held over the Full Year 2014, Ford is down a catastrophic 21% to just 6.5% share while Nissan (+7%), Volkswagen (+9%) and Honda (+9%) all perform strongly inside the Top 10.

Mercedes C Class Australia January 2015. Picture courtesy of new C-Class pushes Mercedes up 28% in Australia.

Mercedes once again knocks a the Top 10’s door with sales up an extravagant 28% year-on-year to 2,594 units and 3.2% share, mainly due to the success of the new C-Class and CLA. Jeep drops to #13 and sees its exponential growth of the past couple of years subdued at ‘just’ +14% to 2,283 sales, the main culprit being the Grand Cherokee down a harsh 27% this month. Audi continues to evolve at record heights with sales up 14% to #14, overtaking BMW up 12% to #15.

Ford Falcon Australia January 2015. Picture courtesy new model doesn’t prevent the Ford Falcon to sink to its lowest-ever monthly volume.

Leader in 2011 and 2012 but #2 in 2013 and 2014, the Mazda3 starts the race to the 2015 title of best-selling nameplate in Australia in front despite a January score 14% lower than a year ago at 3,903 units and 4.8% share vs. +18% and 3,472 sales for its archenemy the Toyota Corolla. The Mazda3 is used to strong starts early in the year: it has now ranked #1 in January for the third straight year, and reaching this level in January is in no way an indication of the Full Year ranking: the 3 ranked #2 in 2011 and finished the year on top while ranking #1 in 2013 and 2014 and ending the race in 2nd place.

Toyota Hilux 2016. Picture courtesy Toyota Hilux pictures were leaked online less than 24 hours ago.

After being shockingly outsold by the Mitsubishi Triton in December, the Toyota Hilux reclaims the #1 pickup spot in January at #3 overall despite sales down 8% to 2,331. Just as spy shots of the new generation Hilux are starting to leak online exactly a year ahead of its 2016 scheduled launch in Australia, the Hilux is bracing for a tough 2015 as the majority of its competitors will relaunch with markedly improved models. In fact, the Ford Ranger is up 10% this month to #7, the Holden Colorado is up 7% to #10 and the Mazda BT-50 is up 22% to #14.

Holden Cruze Australia January 2015Helped by its facelift, the Holden Cruze is back up to #5.

Benefiting from a dubious facelift going on sale on January 20, the Holden Cruze is back inside the Australian Top 10 and above its stablemate the Holden Commodore in 5th place with sales up 34% on January 2014 to 1,870. This is the Cruze’s best ranking at home since July 2013 and only its third time inside the Top 5 in the past two years. Notice also the good performances of the Hyundai ix35 at #9 and the Nissan X-Trail more than doubling its sales year-on-year to #15 thanks to the new generation.

Holden Commodore Ford Falcon Ute Australia January 2015. Picture courtesy specialty: Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon Utes

Onto bad news now: Ford has refreshed the Falcon for the last time before local production is scheduled to end in 2017, launching the ‘swan song’ FG X generation last December. For its first full month on sale in January, the Falcon only manages a disastrous 381 sales across Australia, the worst monthly sales performance in the 65-year-old nameplate’s history. This is below the last low of 396 in October at a time when the previous generation FG Mk2 was deep in runout. All of the Blue Oval’s locally made vehicles dropped sharply, with the Falcon Ute falling even further (-31%) and the Territory down 6%. Add to this the very weak starts of the Focus (-44%), Fiesta (-40%) and Kuga (-43%) and Ford is on track to lodge an 11th consecutive year of Australian sales decline in 2015, an uninterrupted stretch since 2004 when it sold 135.172 units, reduced to 79,703 in 2014. Ford is paying dearly the price of stopping local production and is not assimilated as ‘truly Australian’ anymore by carbuyers here.

Previous post: Australia Full Year 2014: Discover the best-sellers State by State

Original FY2014 post: Australia Full Year 2014: Toyota Corolla holds onto top spot

Previous month: Australia December 2014: Discounted Triton outsells Hilux

One year ago: Australia January 2014: Mazda3 up to highest market share ever

Full January 2015 Top 20 models and Top 47 All-brands below.

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