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Hyundai overtakes Holden in April

Hyundai and Holden are in a race to third place for new car sales this year.

Football, meat pies, kangaroos and … Korean cars. Low interest rates continue to drive sales of imported vehicles – but Holden and Ford continue to fall.

Strewth! Aussies are now consistently buying more Hyundai cars than Holdens.

Figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show Holden finished fourth behind Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai in April – and the two brands are in a bumper-to-bumper race for third place this year.

Holden and Hyundai are barely 1000 sales apart in the year-to-date tally but the South Korean brand is closing the gap after beating Holden for the third month in a row and the seventh time in two years.

The age-old Holden versus Ford battle is about to be revived – but it will be for the minor placings

The change in fortunes means the age-old Holden versus Ford battle is about to be revived – but it will be for the minor placings as the former family and fleet favourites are overtaken by imported cars.

The Ford and Holden fall from grace comes as the Australian new-car market continues its record-setting pace, up by 3.5 per cent year-to-date.

Sales in the first four months of this year are also higher than in the same period in 2013 – the previous record year – with 359,250 new vehicles reported as sold versus 358,165 two years ago.

Buoyed by an artificially devalued Yen, Japanese-branded cars continued to dominate.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Mazda3 for the third month in a row in April to remain our top-selling car while three utes made it into the Top 10, including the second-placed Toyota HiLux, fifth-placed Ford Ranger and ninth-placed Mitsubishi Triton.

Sales of SUVs (up 15.7 per cent) and four-wheel-drive utes (up 9.1 per cent) continue to drive the market while sales of traditional passenger cars hit the brakes (down 4.4 per cent), according to figures that compare the first four months of this year with the same period in 2014.

Mercedes-Benz C Class also outsold the Ford Falcon

Other movers and shakers include the Volkswagen Golf, which made it into the Top 10, and the Hyundai i30 which nearly overtook the Mazda3.

Mercedes-Benz (2654 sales in April) edged out Honda (2559) to make it into the Top 10 for the fourth time in 12 months, and increased its sales lead in the luxury-car class ahead of Audi (1714) and BMW (1554).

The Mercedes-Benz C Class (681) was the second best-selling medium-size car after the Toyota Camry (1141) and ahead of the Mazda6 (415).

The Mercedes-Benz C Class also outsold the Ford Falcon (446), whose sales are down by 11.9 per cent despite the recent arrival of an updated model.

Holden is selling four times as many Commodores as Ford is selling Falcons, but sales are down by a greater margin: 16.8 per cent.

New-car sales in May are expected to remain steady as the industry braces for June, the biggest month of the year.

Top 10 cars in April

Toyota Corolla – 3238, down 2.3 per cent
Toyota HiLux – 2789, up 8.4 per cent
Mazda3 – 2365, down 22.6 per cent
Hyundai i30 – 2298, up 1.2 per cent
Ford Ranger – 2200, up 5.1 per cent
Holden Commodore – 2043, down 16.4 per cent
Mazda CX-5 – 1868, up 21.1 per cent
Volkswagen Golf – 1728, up 22.5 per cent
Mitsubishi Triton – 1538, up 12.1 per cent
Toyota RAV4 – 1399, down 9.6 per cent

Top 10 brands in April

Toyota – 15,299, up 2.0 per cent
Mazda – 8068, up 4.5 per cent
Hyundai – 7210, down 1.2 per cent
Holden – 7072, down 10.1 per cent
Ford – 5163, down 18.9 per cent
Volkswagen – 4572, up 13.6 per cent
Nissan – 4188, up 15.7 per cent
Mitsubishi – 4079, up 11.2 per cent
Subaru – 3052, up 3.8 per cent
Mercedes-Benz – 2654, up 22.7 per cent

Sales and their percentage change with the same month last year. Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries