March up for ute muster
Small car successes aside, the latest sales bulletin is dominated by working men’s mates
MAZDA continues to sell all the 3s it can access and the rival Cruze is creeping up the charts, but utes are impacting powerfully on the top 10.
Sales figures for March, released this week by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, show 93,984 new vehicles found owners, marginally down on the same period last year.
While sales in all segments went fractionally south, save for compact and luxury SUVs, those blue-singlet favourites— Toyota’s HiLux (bottom right), Nissan’s Navara and Mitsubishi’s Triton— all lifted notably. HiLux, a top 10 regular, was second overall, behind Holden’s Commodore (right), with the Mazda3 third.
Even so, it was a record March for the Mazda3, which again outsold the Corolla, this time by almost 1000 units— especially impressive when you consider not a single 3 goes to fleets. But, as we predicted last week, a long overdue challenger is emerging for the hearts and wallets of Australia’s private buyers. Holden’s Cruze, now built locally, is coming on strong in fifth place and it’s hard not to see the gap closing as the year progresses and the recently previewed Cruze hatch fleshes out the sedan-only range in the third quarter.
Toyota continued in the top spot with 18,466 sales, ahead of Holden with 10,816 and Ford third with 8698. With a market share of 19.3 per cent, almost every fifth vehicle sold in this country is a Toyota.
In year-to-date terms, Toyota is followed by Holden, Mazda, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan.