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VFACTS: Commodore drops out of top 10 buys

Selling Australia short: The Mazda3 has taken out the top spot on the national sales charts.

Reborn Pulsar knocks former Aussie favourite off the bestsellers list

4 Apr 2013

HOLDEN’S Commodore has fallen off the shortlist of Australia’s top-selling cars for the first time in the brand’s 34-year history, bumped by a reborn small hatchback from Japan.

VFACTS figures released today for the month of March show the months-old Nissan Pulsar narrowly outsold the once-dominant Holden Commodore, forcing the iconic Australian large family car into 11th spot on the charts.

Mazda’s 3 small car remains the darling of the market, selling almost 3800 units in March to cement it in the running as Australia’s favourite car.

Overall, the market tread water last month, selling 97,400 vehicles - 216 fewer than the same month last year.

However, more buyers visited new-car showrooms than in February, with sales volumes bumping by almost five per cent.

But buyers tended to flock to one side of the showroom more than the other, according to data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Passenger car sales fell by almost five per cent in March compared to February, after more buyers instead preferred to wander over and kick the tyres on SUVs, sales of which rose by more than six per cent.

These SUV sales were helped by the introduction of Toyota’s all-new RAV4, which narrowly fell outside the top 10 best sellers for the month, and a blinding month of sales for Mazda’s compact CX-5, with 1830 units delivered.

Overall, the market is five per cent ahead of where it was this time last year, with the FCAI predicting that if momentum continues sales for 2013 are likely hit a record 1.12 million.

Toyota remains the top-selling marque in Australia, capturing a 19 per cent share of the market in March. Mazda, however, has displaced Holden in second place on the leader’s board, snaring a 9.4 per cent share compared with the Lion badge’s 8.5 per cent.

Nissan, Hyundai and Ford have all taken advantage of Mitsubishi’s fall from grace, while Volkswagen and Honda nudged ahead of Subaru to round out the top 10 marques.

Large car sales continued to slide, with Ford’s Falcon losing almost 35 per cent of sales for the month compared with February to peg only 831 units. That means it is now outsold by the likes of Jeep’s Grand Cherokee off-roader, Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class compact luxury car, and the Volkswagen Tiguan soft-roader.

Likewise, Holden’s VE Commodore logged only 1606 sales to end the month, 40 per cent down on the previous month, as buyers hold onto their money ahead of the launch of the radically restyled VF model due in a few months’ time.

Toyota’s Aurion had a good month, lifting sales by more than two thirds to sell 498 cars, but still well short of the volume it was selling at the same time last year.

Other locally made cars had mixed results, with the Toyota Camry falling by 18 per cent to 1916 sales, the Ford Territory falling 20 per cent to 1059 sales, and the Holden Cruze falling 19 per cent for the month to 2335 sales.

Buyers wanted fewer locally made cars, with sales of Australian fare already down 30 per cent compared with the first three months of last year.

The month also saw a shift in the type of buyers, with businesses and government slowing down on the number of passenger car purchases they made.

Only 19 more electric vehicles were added to Australian roads during March, with five of them making their way into private buyers’ driveways. The other 14 were picked up by business and government.

Hybrid cars continued to display signs of a turnaround, jumping by almost 20 per cent for the month compared with March. Tellingly, too, the bulk of interest in hybrid technology came from private buyers.

Top 10 Sellers for March:
Mazda3 3786
Toyota Corolla 3512
Toyota HiLux 3127
Hyundai i30 2595
Nissan Navara 2499
Holdan Cruze 2335
Toyota Camry 1916
Mazda CX-5 1830
Ford Ranger 1685
Nissan Pulsar 1644
VFACTS sales March 2013:
Brand Sales Movement %
Toyota 18,653 1.0
Mazda 9,112 -2.5
Nissan 8,408 1.2
Hyundai 8,402 7.6
Holden 8,283 -18.8
Ford 6,434 -13.7
Mitsubishi 5,147 -14.3
Volkswagen 4,299 -4.1
Subaru 4,219 5.4
Honda 3,897 73.4

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