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Hyundai iLoad tops 2011 van sales

VFACTS figures show the demand for workhorses stalled and, in some cases, went backwards last year.

South Korea's hard working machine picked off the HiAce for the first time, ending the year with 6610 sales, 576 ahead of the Toyota. While Hyundai's hauler performed well, other commercial vehicles struggled, with sales of most utes, vans and trucks slipping in 2011. 

Reflecting economic insecurity hitting Australian businesses, VFACTS figures show the demand for workhorses stalled and, in some cases, went backwards last year. 

Only 4x4 utes and medium duty trucks recorded growth in the 2011 calendar year and even those gains were mild. 

Van sales suffered in 2011, dipping 8.6 per cent. Utes put in a mixed performance, with 4x2 utes finishing 11.6 per cent down for the year while 4x4 utes finished 6.3 per cent up. 

The Falcon and Commodore-based utes lost more sales during the year, with the Ford shedding 25.1 per cent of its sales, while the Holden ute  lost 16.8 per cent. 

Ford sold a monthly average of just 560 utes to Holden's 790, with both  hitting historical lows. Totoya's Hilux was the best selling 4x2 ute with 12,399 which was 17.9 per cent down on 2010. The Hilux also took out the 4x4 class with 23,725 sales for the year, but the Nissan Navara wasn't far off with 20,162 sales. 

The light duty truck class (3500kg to 7500kg) was down 5 per cent for 2011. Isuzu dominated the segment with its N Series rig and its 3320 sales. 

The medium duty class, rigs that rate between 7500kg and 10,000kg, actually grew in 2011, even if it did so by just 6.6 per cent. Isuzu wiped the floor in this division with combined N Series and F Series sales of 2509, well ahead of Hino with 1508 sales of 300 and 500  Series models.

The heavy duty segment was down 2 per cent for the year, with Kenworth a  clear leader with 1766 sales, which represented a 15 per cent decline on 2010.