TOYOTA HILUX IS THE FIRST UTILITY TO TOP ANNUAL AUSTRALIAN SALES

Toyota Australia’s sales and marketing chief, Tony Cramb, celebrates Toyota’s one-two finish

Toyota Australia’s sales and marketing chief, Tony Cramb, celebrates Toyota’s one-two finish.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has released the motor vehicle sales results for 2016 and, for the first time ever, the top seller wasn’t a passenger car but rather a utility.

With a total of 42,104 units the Toyota HiLux outsold its Corolla stablemate (40,330), to complete a Toyota quinella – the first time one car company was taken out the top two places. Hyundai i30 was the third biggest selling model with sales up by 16.9% to 37,772 while a 6.6% decline saw Mazda3 (36,107) drop from second to fifth place.

For the third straight year overall sales set a new record with a total of 1,178,133 – an increase of two per cent over 2015. Passenger cars remained the most popular choice with 41.3% of total sales although the SUV boom shows no signs of abating with a 37.4% share. In 2015 the spilt had been around 45/34.

Toyota HiLux is the first ever utility to top annual Australian sales

Toyota HiLux is the first ever utility to top annual Australian sales.

Light commercials, predominantly utilities, accounted for 18.5%, while heavy commercials took the remaining 2.7%.

The least surprising statistic was Toyota’s continued domination of the overall market taking out the leading brand for the 14th straight year well ahead of its 66 competitors. Its total of 209,610 vehicles was an increase of just 1.6% cent while second-placed Mazda (118,217) closed the gap marginally with growth of 3.7% cent.

The big improvers in 2016 were Kia which broke into the top ten for the first time with 42,668 vehicles, up by 26.5%; while Ford overcame the end of local production to grow by 15.3% although almost half of its 81,207 sales were made up of its Ranger ute which was also the fourth best selling model overall.

Mercedes-Benz remained the most successful of the big three prestige Germans with 41,226 units, well ahead of BMW (24,258) and Audi (24,258).

The most worried executives will be those at Holden where overall sales went down by 8.4% despite the locally-produced Commodore’s continued domination of the large family car segment.

Mazda CX-5 was the top-selling SUV for the fourth straight year despite a slight drop in numbers, with Hyundai’s Tucson in second place.

Mazda CX-5 topped local SUV sales for the fourth straight year.

Mazda CX-5 topped local SUV sales for the fourth straight year.

In this the penultimate year for Australian manufactured vehicles their sales dropped to 7.4% of the total. Japanese-built vehicles accounted for 27.6% of total sales; followed by Thailand (24.2%); South Korea (13.8%); with Germany the leading European with 7.4%.

There’s no doubt that the record sales have been buoyed by the excellent value offered to Australian buyers with new models frequently arriving at static or even reduced prices but with new features and fixed-price servicing costs.

FCAI’s Chief Executive, Tony Weber, commented on this when he announced the 2016 results: “New models with significant performance and comfort attributes, combined with the existing vehicle mix, continue to make Australia one of the most competitive new car markets in the world.

“It’s this level of competition, and the diversity of more than 400 models on offer, which drives value for the Australian consumer.”

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