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Australia 1946-2023: Historical Data now available

1958-1968 Wheels magazine covers featuring Japanese models1960 Holden and Ford Falcon

Australia has now become one of the most complete Historical Data countries on BSCB, covering over 75 years in detail with official data going back as far as 1946. There is now official annual models rankings for the past 39 years without interruption (from 1982 onwards), a Top 50 from 1991 onwards, and every single monthly Top 20 from July 2002 onwards, that’s over 150 consecutive rankings.

Hyundai Excel Australia 1986The very first Hyundai advertisement in Australia, in April 1986.

Make sure you explore the four Vintage Photo Reports featuring dozens of original pictures: 1949-1959, 1960-1968, 1959-1968 special Japan and 1969-1976… Witness the launch of the Holden, ‘Australia’s own’, in 1949, the arrival of the Ford Falcon in 1960 to challenge the Holden domination, the landing of Japanese brands in the late fifties (Australia was Toyota’s very first export market), the arrival of Hyundai in 1986 (“posing very little threat to existing cars” according to the local press), the crowing of Toyota for the first time monthly in October 1990 and annually in 1991, and the arrival of Chinese manufacturers in 2009…  See how the Holden Torana and Kingswood perform and watch the Datsuns that managed to climb on the models ranking podium in the seventies…

Ford Falcon Australia 1983. Picture courtesy fotostation.ru1983 Ford Falcon1988 Holden Commodore

From 1978 to 2008, witness one of the longest and most intense model battles in the world between the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon… If the Commodore took the advantage at the start, the Falcon led the way during most of the eighties, while in the nineties the fight got intense: only 191 units separated the two in 1992, with the Falcon the lucky winner that year. All in all, the Falcon peaked at 15.3% market share in 1987 while the Commodore hit a personal best of 12.8% in 1996 and sold 94,642 units in 1998, an annual volume record for any nameplate ever sold in Australia.

2011 Mazda3

From 1996 onwards it was the Commodore who took the reigns of the market, and did so for 15 consecutive years up until 2011 when the Mazda3 became the first imported model to rank #1 in Australia since World War 2… It got worse in 2012 with no local model on the podium. Look into the context in which the Hyundai Excel delivered one of the biggest surprises in the Australian automotive industry when it led the monthly ranking in June 1998The Toyota Corolla ranked #1 for the first time in September 2005 and dislodged the Ford Falcon from the 2nd place in 2006 to finally top the annual ranking in 2013 and do it again in 2014 and 2015. The Toyota Hilux was the first pickup truck to top the annual charts in 2016 and stayed on top for 7 straight years before the Ford Ranger took the relay in 2023.

Australia Historical Data:

Australia 1946-1947: Ford V8 tops post-war sales charts

Australia 1948-1949: Austin A40 dominates sales

Australia 1949-1959: Holden ‘Australia’s own’ launches

Australia 1960-1968: Ford unveils Falcon to challenge Holden

Australia 1958-1968: Toyota and Japan’s first export market

Australia 1969-1976: Ford catches up on Holden, a Datsun on the podium

Australia 1977: Ford Falcon dislodges long-term leader Holden Kingswood

Australia 1978: Holden Kingswood reclaims lead, Commodore #1 in December

Australia 1979-1981: Holden Commodore an instant hit

Australia 1982: Ford Falcon beats Holden Commodore

Australia 1983: Ford Falcon reigns, Holden Commodore down 55%

Australia 1984: Ford Falcon holds onto pole position, Ford Laser on podium

Australia 1985: Ford Falcon increases gap with Holden Commodore

Australia 1986: Hyundai lands, “posing very little threat”

Australia 1987: Ford Falcon hits all-time high 15.3 market share

Australia 1988: Ford Falcon at 13.3% share, holds off new Holden Commodore

Australia 1989: Holden Commodore on top, start of the ‘Falcadore’ era

Australia 1990: Holden Commodore #1, Toyota first Japanese carmaker #1 in October

Australia 1991: Toyota becomes #1 carmaker for the first time

Australia 1992: Ford Falcon passes Commodore for 191 units!

Australia 1993: Ford Falcon leads at 11.7%, Mitsubishi Magna #3 at 6.8%

Australia 1994: Holden Commodore reclaims top spot

Australia 1995: Last year of reign for Ford Falcon – hits 12.7%

Australia 1996: Commodore at record 12.8%, Hyundai Excel #3

Australia 1997: Commodore and Falcon down, Kia lands

Australia 1998: Commodore hits highest ever volume, Hyundai Excel #1 in June!

Australia 1999: Commodore leads but down 10%

Australia 2000: Commodore enjoys 5th year in a row at #1

Australia 2001: Commodore, Falcon and Toyota Corolla on podium

Australia 2002: Commodore in command, breaks monthly record

Australia 2003: Ford Falcon teases Holden Commodore

Australia 2004: Commodore undisputed leader

Australia 2005: Commodore and Falcon still dominate but slow down, Corolla #1 in September

Australia 2006: Commodore limits fall thanks to new gen, Falcon down to #3!

Australia 2007: Commodore resists new Corolla assault in millionaire market, Falcon down to #5

Australia 2008: Corolla #1 until July, Commodore saved by Sportwagon, Toyota Hilux #1 twice

Australia 2009: Commodore hits lowest volume ever, Mazda3 #1 in January, the Chinese arrive

Australia 2010: Commodore #1 for 15th year in a row

Australia 2011: Mazda3 breaks Holden Commodore domination and The best-sellers Sate by State

Australia 2011: The Chinese have well and truly landed

Australia 2012: Mazda3 #1, no local model on podiumAll-models ranking, and State by State

Australia 2013: Toyota Corolla finally tops record market, and The best-sellers State by State

Australia 2014: Toyota Corolla holds onto top spot, and The best-sellers State by State

Australia 2015: Mazda first full importer to #2 in record market and The State by State best-sellers

Australia 2016: Toyota Hilux first ever “ute” to lead annual sales and The State by State best-sellers

Australia 2017: Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger top record market and The State by State best-sellers

Australia 2018: Toyota Hilux 3peats, breaks records in market down 3% and The State by State best-sellers

Australia 2019: Kia only island of growth, Hilux #1 for 4th straight year in weakest market since 2011

Australia: 1982-2019 Nameplates records now available

Australia 2020: Toyota Hilux #1 for 5th year, RAV4 up to #3, Holden out in weakest market in 17 years (-13.7%)

Australia 2021: Toyota Hilux challenged by Ford Ranger, MG and ZS in Top 10, market up 14.5%

Australia 2022: Hilux breaks all records, Kia above Hyundai for the first time, MG up to #7

Australia 2023: Ford Ranger ends 7 years of Toyota Hilux domination, record market

Australia 2023: Exclusive Top 10 rankings by State and Territory

This Post Has 8 Comments
    1. Glad you enjoyed it!
      Some of it comes from Wheels magazine I was able to consult at the State Library in Sydney, some of it comes from VFACTS who publish Australian data each year and one of our readers, David, was kind enough to share it with me 🙂

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