Mazda3 is second but the true first
OFFICIALLY it rates second on the sales ladder, but the Mazda3 is overwhelmingly Australia’s number one car.
In February’s sales results released this morning, the small hatch and sedan range from Hiroshima placed behind Holden’s Commodore. While the latter is hugely reliant on fleet sales, people spending their own dollars saw the Mazda sell just 254 units fewer.
Spurred by a $21,990 driveaway deal for its entrylevel Neo, the Mazda3 — which has no fleet fat in its sales figure — easily outsold its direct rivals, Toyota’s Corolla and Holden’s Cruze.
These strong ‘‘real money’’ sales, as opposed to cut-price deals for fleets, means private buyers make up the greatest portion of February’s 80,896. Private money accounted for 39,776 sales, about 1000 more than business, government and rental fleets combined.
This is considered highly unusual for the month in which fleet sales usually rebound after the traditionally quiet January.
This is bad news for the Ford’s struggling Falcon, which climbed back into the top 10 after its unpreceden- tedly poor 13th placing in January but could manage only 1572 sales.
By polar contrast, the Commodore scored 3829. Again, small to medium four-cylinder imports dominated the top 20 models, which is good news for Holden, whose Cruze has begun local production, but hard lines for Ford, whose new Focus does not reach Australia until the third quarter of this year.
‘‘This is a solid result reflecting the strong underlying demand for new vehicles,’’ says Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Andrew McKellar.
The Mazda3 is proving a favourite with private buyers