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VFACTS: Local hero Toyota Camry fights back

Medium rare: Toyota’s Camry gave the local car industry an increasingly rare win in passenger car sales last month.

Market leader Toyota scores a Cup quinella as Camry and HiLux top October sales

5 Nov 2012

TOYOTA’S patriotic ‘Local Pride’ sales pitch to Australian car buyers – sweetened with a zero per cent finance offer – paid dividends last month when its locally built Camry had its best sales month for almost seven years, official VFACTS sales figures released on Melbourne Cup eve show.

The Melbourne-made mid-size sedan was Australia’s best-selling passenger car last month, outsold only by its light-truck stablemate, the HiLux, for a Toyota sales quinella.

Toyota hopes it can maintain the sales pace through to the end of the year, spurred on by continuing discount finance offers and new models, including the just-released Corolla small car that came fourth in run-out mode in the October sales charts.

The overall October market was up more than 10,000 vehicles or 12.2 per cent over the same month last year, to an October record 95,594 units.

Year to date, vehicle sales are running 9.7 per cent ahead of last year, putting the industry on track for a record 1.1 million sales this year.

Market leader Toyota racked up 18,584 sales in October, an increase of 7.8 per cent over its performance in the corresponding month of 2011 when it was still encumbered by stock shortages caused by natural disasters and slowing sales of its Camry that was then in run-out.

106 center imageFrom top: Toyota Australia's Matthew Callachor Toyota HiLux Mazda3 Nissan Dualis Holden Commodore.

Last month, the locally made Camry came back with a vengeance on the back of a heavy marketing campaign that not only emphasised the car’s Australian-ness and the jobs created by the car at Toyota’s Australian factory, but also offered zero per cent finance.

Camry’s 3379 sales represented an increase of 24 per cent over October 2011 and its best sales month since December 2005. As well, it took more than 50 per cent of the medium-car class, outselling all its direct competitors combined.

However, it was well short of the Toyota flagship’s record month of 5121 in June 1999.

HiLux was again the nation’s top-selling vehicle last month, even though sales of the perennial LCV leader were down by 2.0 per cent, to 3403 units.

Its rival in the battle for the vehicle sales crown in 2012, the Mazda3, came third last month with 3342 vehicles finding homes across the land.

With two months of 2012 to go, just 1300 units separates the Mazda3 (35,776 vehicles) and HiLux (34,467) in the race for the annual sales crown.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said the company planned to continue an aggressive retailing push to the end of the year.

“The industry remains on track for an all-time record approaching 1.1 million sales with strong demand and supply of vehicles, low interest rates and attractive offers across the board,” he said.

“Our dealers have told us they can sell as many HiLux utes as we can receive from the factory, which is continuing to work overtime to fill orders based on huge demand in every country in which it is sold.

“Camry will continue to benefit from our Local Pride campaign, including Toyota’s push to encourage people to buy Australian-built cars by offering zero per cent finance – an offer that continues till the end of the year.”

Second-placed GM Holden managed to stem its sales losses last month, achieving 10,239 sales – a rise of 0.3 per cent – even though sales of its local heroes, the Commodore and Cruze, slumped 18.9 and 19.8 per cent respectively.

Holden immediately announced the return of its 0.5 per cent finance offer this month to help counter rival offers.

Although Ford’s Falcon continued to flounder last month – down another 12.6 per cent to 1391 units – Ford recovered sales momentum through its imports to regain third place on the sales charts, with 8379 sales – a rise of 21 per cent over October 2011.

This was achieved mainly on the back of large increases in sales of the newly revised Focus small car (up 120 per cent, to 1740 units) and locally designed Ranger (up 95.5 per cent, to 2126 units).

Ford’s performance moved Mazda off the podium and back to fourth place for the month, despite a rise of 10.6 per cent to 7738 sales.

Hyundai marked time in fifth place, with sales of 7576 vehicles and a rise of just 0.9 per cent.

Nissan again enjoyed a stellar sales month, with volumes up 22.3 per cent – to 6662 units – on the back of a big jump in Navara ute and Dualis SUV sales.

Hard-charging Volkswagen moved ahead of Mitsubishi and into seventh place by selling 5559 vehicles, compared with the Japanese brand’s 5334 vehicles.

Nevertheless, Mitsubishi scored a rare class win when its run-out Outlander topped the medium SUV class, which is awaiting the arrival of a swathe of new models over the next six months, including top sellers in the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV.

Subaru held down ninth place by selling 3203 vehicles – an increase of 21.8 per cent over the corresponding month last year – ahead of Korean brand Kia, which climbed into the top 10 with a giant 65 per cent leap in sales, to 2977 units.

German luxury marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW both enjoyed an Octoberfest, with BMW’s sales up 43 per cent, to 1605 units, and Mercedes’ rising 33 per cent, to 1927.

Top 10 brands October 2012
RankBrandSalesMovement %
1Toyota18,584+ 7.8
2Holden10,239+ 0.3
3Ford8379+ 21.1
4Mazda7738+ 10.6
5Hyundai7576+ 0.9
6Nissan6662+ 22.3
7Volkswagen5559+ 7.9
8Mitsubishi5334+ 4.2
9Subaru3203+ 21.8
10Kia2977+ 65.1

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