TOYOTA continues to dominate the Australian new-car market more than any brand before it, despite losing market share (down from a peak of 23.6 percent in 2008 to 18.3 percent last year).
The 203,501 Toyotas sold in 2014 – the 12th straight year it has topped the local sales charts and the 13th in total – was almost double that of second-placed Holden, with 106,092 sales.
Holden’s sales – down 5.3 percent on 2013 – mean it has just 52.1 percent of Toyota’s total, a record low.
Traditionally the race to be the top-selling brand has been fought to the end, but Toyota passed Holden’s full-year tally in July.
Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Tony Cramb says it was a very different market a decade ago, when Toyota’s 21.1 percent market share was backed up by 18.6 percent from Holden.
But second-placed Holden accounted for just 9.5 percent of the market in 2014 as the brand battles with an ageing or underwhelming fleet (with the exception of the Commodore), and intensifying competition from the likes of Mazda and Hyundai.
However, in 2014 four brands – Toyota, Holden, Mazda and Hyundai – each sold more than 100,000 vehicles, a first for the industry. It’s indicative of strong mid-level players rather than two or three dominant brands.
“What’s happened is there’s been a concentration in this marketplace and Toyota has actually moved away from the competition and we almost outsell number two and number three combined,” Cramb said.
Despite the gloss, Toyota’s sales were down 5.2 percent. Its 18.3 percent market share is one of the lowest to top the market; Ford in 1997 (18.0 percent) and Toyota in 2011 (18.0 percent) are the only times the top-selling brand has commanded less of the market.