Australians purchased more new vehicles last year to establish a new national sales record
A RECORD 1,555,408 motor vehicles were sold across Australia in 2015, more than the previous benchmark of 1,136,227 sales set in 2013. It was also a 3.8 percent turnaround 2014’s 2.0 percent decline, with the Toyota Corolla the top-selling model and Toyota the number-one brand.
It’s the 13th consecutive year that Toyota has been at the top of the local sales charts, and the third year in a row that Corolla has been the most popular model. The Hilux, which saw a new model introduced in the second half of the year, was the third best-selling vehicle overall with Camry seventh to give Toyota three models in the Top Ten.
Yet Toyota’s market share slipped from 18.3 percent at the close of 2014 to 17.8 percent at the end of 2015, meaning that its still sizable slice of the market is shrinking ever so gradually.
Mazda chased Toyota home hard, but there was still daylight between Toyota’s 206,236 result and second-place Mazda’s 114,024.Yet Mazda’s substantial 13.2 percent growth easily outperformed the overall market’s 3.8 percent rise, and far exceeded Toyota’s 1.3 percent increase for the year.
The Mazda 3 was the nation’s second-best selling passenger car, and the Mazda CX-5 the most popular SUV (ninth overall at 25,136). The Mazda CX-3 was launched early in 2015, and contributed a healthy 12,656 to the brand’s result, pushing it will beyond the 100,704 figure of 2014, which was the first time Mazda Australia had broken through 100,000 sales. The recent arrival of the all-new MX-5 sports car as well as the second-generation CX-9 that’s due later this year should Mazda consolidate its momentum.
Holden managed to hold on to the final step of the podium, continuing its arm-wrestle with Hyundai. Holden’s fall of 3.0 percent and Hyundai’s rise of 2.0 percent saw an agonisingly close result, with the former’s 102,951 enough to hold off the Korean maker’s 102,004.
Mitsubishi was next-best in fifth place, but a long way back with 71,752 sales. Still, this is a substantial 4.5 percent increase on its 2014 effort, which saw it sell 68,637 cars, and also pipped its 2013 result of 71,528.
Ford finished the year in sixth place despite a flurry of new models and updates. An updated Ranger – which at 29,185 made up almost half of the brands’ sales – Focus and full-year of Falcon were supported by the arrival of the new Everest SUV and significant mainstream media coverage of the Mustang’s arrival.
Yet Ford sales plummeted a massive 11.6 percent to 70,454, the brand’s worst result since 1966, and its 1.06 drop in market share to 6.1 percent was the largest of any brand.
Nissan, Volkswagen, Subaru and Honda completed the Top Ten in that order, all posting growth, although Nissan' s 0.1 percent hardly counts. Honda produced the biggest increase, with a 21.5 percent jump from 32,998 in 2014 to 40,100 in 2015.
Volkswagen’s result slipped from its mid-year effort, which was at 12.1 percent before the ‘Dieselgate’ fiasco became public, to finish the year at 9.9 percent growth and set a local sales record of 60,225 despite the negative publicity generated by the scandal.
Outside of the Top Ten, the perpetual luxury car battle saw Mercedes-Benz finish in 11th with 36,374 (up 14.0 percent), ahead of BMW in 13th overall with 25,022 (up 10.1 percent) and Audi in 15th with 23,088. All three German brands posted growth, but Audi’s impressive 20.1 percent improvement – again despite Dieselgate – enabled it to close the gap marginally to its rivals.
Notable mentions also include Kia, which finished with a record 33,736 sales, an increase of 20.5 percent over 2014, as well as Renault, which at 11,525 saw an 15.1 percent increase to almost triple Peugeot sales (4000, down 9.0 percent) and Citroen (1106, down 15.4 percent).