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Toyota Hilux tops 2017’s new-car sales charts

By Barry Park, 04 Jan 2018 News

Toyota_2017_Sales_Results115wide

A trade ute may be on top of the charts, but the locally made Holden Commodore signs off the year in fifth spot

TOYOTA has topped Australia’s new-car sales chart for the 15th year running as our appetite for trade utes and SUVs continued in 2017.

And we’ve pegged yet another record year with 1,189,116 vehicles sold, the latest VFACTS sales data shows, the third year running that sales have snuck 0.9 percent higher than the previous year’s numbers.

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s most popular vehicle for the second year running, snaring 42,728 sales for the year and up almost 14 percent on 2016’s result. It edged out the Ford Ranger, the nation’s second most popular vehicle with sales up more than 19 percent for the year, by just 624 sales.

Toyota Hilux and Corolla

Another Toyota, the Corolla small hatch and sedan, placed third overall, accumulating 37,375 sales. It was followed closely by the Mazda 3 – gauged to be Australia’s most popular choice among buyers who spend their own money rather than someone else’s – and the new Hyundai i30 hatchback (28,780 sales). The Mazda CX-5 (25,831) was Australia’s best-selling SUV in 2016.

The books will close on the Holden Commodore (23,676 sales) showing the large Aussie staple remained the fifth-best selling model in 2017, despite the curtain falling on almost 70 years of manufacturing in October. It was edged out by the Hyundai Tucson (23,828) – a difference of only 152 sales.

The books will close on 2017 as the year in which SUV sales (465,646) overtook those for traditional passenger cars (450,012) – the only corner of the record-breaking new-car sales market to shrink.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the record result was an “amazing feat in a mature market”.

He said the success of the Toyota Hilux was “back to the future” for the Australian market as buyer preferences continued to change.

Toyota Hilux

Toyota’s domination of the market came as it grew its sales 3.3 percent to 216,566 over the previous year’s result. Mazda finished second with 116,349 sales, down 1.3 percent over the previous year, while Hyundai (97,013 sales, down 4.5 percent) edged out Holden (90,306, down 4.2 percent) and Mitsubishi (80,654, up 9.9 percent) edged out Ford (78,161, down 3.8 percent) to take fifth spot.

Big winners, though, will go down as Kia, up 28.3 percent to crack the 50K mark (54,737) for the first time, Subaru (52,511, up 11.7 percent) and Honda (46,783, up 14.6 percent).

Those gains came at the expense of brands including Nissan, down 15.3 percent to 56,594 after a rout of some of the bigger-selling models in its showroom, luxury marque BMW (23,619, down 15.7 percent), and Jeep (82790, down 34.5 percent) after hitting the reset button on its business here.

BMW wasn’t the only luxury brand feeling the pinch in 2017. Audi also fell, dropping 9.3 percent to 22,011, Lexus (8800, down 2.5 percent) saw its sales soften, and that blip on the radar known as Infiniti (776 sales, down 3.8 percent) faded slightly more.

Ferrari has had a cracking year, posting 210 sales, up more than 11 percent, to outperform rival Lamborghini with just 122 sales (down almost 4.0 percent) and McLaren (116 sales, up 24.7 percent).