Robust economy drives record sales
The Mazda3 took out the title of best-selling car in Australia for the second year in a row after more than 44,000 sales.

_LAST _year was a busy time for the local auto industry, with low interest rates, a strong Aussie dollar and an ever-increasing range of affordable yet high-quality choices seeing a record number of new cars sold in Australia.

Many companies are reporting it to have been their best year on record for Australian sales, with a whopping 1,112,032 new vehicles being bought - a 10 per cent increase on 2011 and breaking the previous record of 1,049,982 set in 2007.

To put the figure into perspective, it equates to roughly every 20th person in the nation buying themselves a new ride.

Figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show we are a country gradually altering our car-buying behaviour.

As expected, people continue to fall in love with SUVs.

They accounted for 27.5 per cent of all new car sales - with the Toyota Prado and Nissan X-Trail the most popular purchases - and small SUVs recording the biggest sales leap of any class of vehicle, jumping 53.5 per cent on the previous year.

The introduction of affordable performance vehicles such as the Hyundai Veloster and the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ collaboration saw sales of sports cars surge 47.1 per cent nationally.

West Australians showed a particular liking for performance cars, with sales of sports vehicles nearly doubling with a spike of 96.5 per cent.

Buyers continue to shy away from passenger cars, which now make up 51.9 per cent of all sales, down from 55.5 per cent.

Large passenger cars are particularly out of favour, with total sales dropping 19.2 per cent in the last 12 months.

However, small passenger cars remain the biggest seller in the country, with the Mazda3 taking out the title of best-selling car in Australia for the second year in a row after more than 44,000 sales.

The small car came in ahead of a pair of Toyotas - the HiLux utility and small Corolla. However, while it may have missed out on the year's best-selling model, Toyota continued its recent dominance.

On the back of its strong presence in the SUV market and the success of its locally made sedans, the Japanese car giant improved its market share by 1.61 per cent and sold 218,176 vehicles for the year.

That was more than 100,000 clear of second-placed Holden.

Mazda was a big mover, being the only other car maker to crack the 100,000 mark, with Hyundai and Ford making up the top five national sellers.

In WA, the mining industry helped make HiLux 4x4 the State's top-selling car, while we showed more love for Hyundais than our fellow countrymen.

The i30 was the State's second-biggest seller and the Korean marque beat Holden, Ford and Mazda to be runner-up for total sales across WA.

_ _

_ _

*OVERALL *

Toyota HiLux 4x4 (5525 sales)

Hyundai i30 (4541)

Toyota Corolla (3787)


  • LIGHT *

Hyundai i20 (2678)

Toyota Yaris (1645)

Suzuki Swift (1472)


  • SMALL *

Hyundai i30 (4541)

Toyota Corolla (3787)

Mazda3 (3786)


  • MEDIUM *

Toyota Camry (2884 - four-cylinder model)

Hyundai i45 (868)

Honda Accord Euro (604)


  • LARGE *

Holden Commodore (2482)

Ford Falcon (1155)

Toyota Aurion (881)


  • LUXURY *

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (514)

BMW 3 Series (498)

Audi A4 (146)


  • SPORTS *

Hyundai Veloster (659)

Toyota 86 (210)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (199)


  • SUV *

Toyota Prado (3385)

Toyota LandCruiser wagon (2266)

Hyundai ix35 (1931)

West Australians showed a particular liking for performance cars, with sales of sports vehicles nearly doubling with a spike of 96.5 per cent.

The West Australian

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