HiLux ute is Australia’s number one
AUSTRALIA’s best-selling car of 2016 is not a car at all, but Toyota’s HiLux ute. It’s the first time a vehicle other than a passenger car has been the country’s best seller for an entire calendar year.
The HiLux – sitting in the light commercial segment – edged out Toyota’s and Australia’s best-seller for the previous three years, the Corolla small passenger car. Australians bought 42,104 new HiLuxes and 40,330 new Corollas in 2016.
Hyundai’s i30 secured third place with 37,772, next best ute and fourth overall was Ford’s Ranger with 36,934 sales while Mazda’s 3 was fifth with 36,107.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries sales results for the Australian automotive industry also revealed we bought more new cars than ever before in 2016, highlighting current buyer confidence.
Australians purchased 1,178,133 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles last year, an increase of 2% on the 2015 calendar year record. It’s the third new car sales record in four years.
The main growth was in SUVs and light commercial vehicles, particularly dual cab utilities like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. HiLux 4x4 sales were up nearly 20% over 2015, while the average increase across the segment was nearly 10%.
Highlighting how our buying habits have changed, and how luxury and features-packed double cab utes have become increasingly popular as family lifestyle vehicles, the range-topping HiLux SR5 was the biggest-selling grade and accounted for more than half of all HiLux 4x4 sales.
In popular Double Cab pick-up guise with diesel engine, the SR5 costs from a not insignificant $54,390 before on-roads.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the victory by HiLux marked a significant turning point in the Australian automotive industry.
“HiLux has made history as the first vehicle of its type to stand on top of the sales podium in Australia because it has broad appeal with the car-buying public,” Mr Cramb said.
“As recently as 2011, the biggest-selling variant was the 4x2 single cab-chassis in tough-as-nails Workmate trim, a vehicle where “air-conditioning” meant you opened windows.
“While demand for that variant has not diminished… we now sell almost twice as many top-of-the-range 4x4 SR5 double cabs fitted with luxury features such as climate-control air-conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, satellite navigation and the option of leather-accented seats.”
The HiLux was the top-selling vehicle in Queensland for the 10th straight year, the top-seller in Western Australia for the ninth year in a row, and 16th consecutive annual best seller in the Northern Territory.
In more good news for Toyota, 2016 saw the Japanese brand being sales leader in Australia for the 20th time in the past 26 years, including the past 14 years in a row.
PODIUM STARS: Toyota Australia's Tony Cramb with Australia’s best-selling cars of 2016, the Toyota HiLux ute in first place and the Toyota Corolla just behind in second place.