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Toyota HiLux wins January sales race

Australia’s best-selling vehicle for 2017, the Toyota HiLux, has started 2018 on the same foot.

Australia’s new-vehicle market has started off the new year with a spike in sales spearheaded by some familiar faces, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

The market saw a jump in deliveries by 4.3 per cent, with the 88,551 sales eclipsing the January record set in 2013 with 85,430 units.

Driving the overall growth was Toyota, which finished January with a 5000 sale head start over its competitors, with 15,306 total units delivered – representing a 21.9 per cent increase year-on-year and its best January performance in a decade.

To no one’s surprise, the HiLux pick-up led the charge with 3860 units sold, continuing on from its 2017 and 2016 sales crowns to be the best-selling vehicle for the month.

Fourth place overall went to the evergreen Corolla small car with 2776 sales, while the RAV4 medium SUV also found its way into the top 10 with 1780 units, enough for seventh overall.

After switching from local production to importing, the Camry mid-sizer saw a 30 per cent increase in January sales to 754 units of the new model.

Offsetting the strong month by Toyota was Holden, who in the wake of ceasing local production late last year, saw a 20.4 per cent slide in sales year-on-year, enough for 5719 sales and fourth place on the sales ladder.

The passenger car segment continued its fall from popularity with an 8.7  per cent  slide.

With the last of the locally built VFII Commodores being snapped up, sales are down to 871 units (a 55.6 per cent drop), but the arrival of the imported ZB Commodore later this month should help boost volume of the venerable Aussie legend.

Sales of the VFII ute and WN Caprice have also dwindled as stock dries up, with 120 units (down 61.5 per cent) and six units (down 83.3 per cent) sold, respectively.

Fighting against the falling sales were the Astra small car which climbed 94.5 per cent to 813 units, and the Barina light car with 449 sales, up 84.8 per cent.

Looking across vehicle segments, the passenger car segment continued its fall from popularity with an 8.7 per cent slide to 31,890 units, while the SUV segment keeps surging with a 10.9 per cent rise to 37,859 units.

The large-passenger segment took the biggest hit with a 43.3 per cent skid, while the small-SUV segment was the strongest performer with a 25.5 per cent boost.

Also seeing a rise in sales was the increasingly popular light-commercial segment, with a 20.3 per cent climb to 16,776 units, on the back of a 26.6 per cent rise in 4x4 pick-ups.

Second place in the sales race belonged to Mazda with 10,113 sales (up 0.5 per cent), on the back of strong performances from the likes of the Mazda3 small car (3201 units, fifth place overall), the CX-5 mid-size SUV (2152 sales, fifth overall, and the CX-3 small SUV (1582 sales, ninth overall).

Hyundai was next up with 7124 sales (up 6.2 per cent), with the i30 small car (1850 units, sixth overall) doing much of the heavy lifting.

Among luxury brands, Mercedes continued to strong-arm its competitors with a 9.6  per cent  increase.

Ford slipped 4.5 per cent to claim fifth place with 5645 sales, however the blame cannot be placed on the Ranger pick-up which finished second overall with 3260 units moved.

Mitsubishi finished in sixth place with 5263 units sold (up 3.7 per cent), with the Triton pick-up (1533 units) and Outlander medium SUV (951) standing out.

Nissan sales fell 6.1 per cent to 4707 units, despite having two vehicles in the top 10 overall – the X-Trail medium SUV (1668 units, eighth) and Navara pick-up (1578, tenth).

Most improved for the month went to Honda, which saw a 32.0 per cent spike in sales to finish in eighth place with 4581 units, thanks to strong results from the CR-V medium SUV (1474 units), Civic small car (1293) and HR-V small SUV (1002).

Kia climbed 12.9 per cent to finish ninth with 4531 sales, thanks predominantly to the Cerato small car (1432 units) and Sportage medium SUV (1176).

Rounding out the top 10 was Subaru, with 4253 sales (up 6.1 per cent), on the back of the XV small SUV (1108 units) and mechanically related Impreza (920).

Among luxury brands, Mercedes continued to strong-arm its competitors with a 9.6 per cent increase to 2899 sales, ahead of BMW (2110, up 0.3 per cent) and Audi (1578, down 22.1 per cent).

Will 2018 be a record year for new-car sales? Tell us what you think in the comments below.