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Toyota HiLux wins November sales race

A couple of Thai-made utes topped the November ladder, with the Toyota HiLux (4103 units) and Ford Ranger (3576) on top.

According to official VFACTS data released today, Australian new-vehicle sales eclipsed the 100,000-unit mark for the first time in November, helping to maintain the market's record pace this year.

However, in another first, not a single member of the top-10-selling models was Aussie-built.

After ending local production in October, the Toyota Camry and Holden Commodore joined the Ford Falcon outside the top 10 which is now ruled by models imported from Japan and Thailand.

Comparatively, the Commodore claimed fifth spot in the October sales race, with the Camry only two places behind, in seventh position.

Nevertheless, the Camry dropped to 11th last month, with registrations diving 35 per cent when compared to the same month in 2016, while the Commodore finished 14th, as its sales decreased 12.1 per cent.

A couple of Thai-made utes topped the November ladder, with the Toyota HiLux (4103 units) and Ford Ranger (3576) leading Japanese-built small-car competitors Toyota Corolla (2959) and Mazda3 (2464).

In total, Australian new-car buyers purchased 101,365 vehicles last month, which is 2428 units – or 2.5 per cent – more than the corresponding month in 2016.

As a result, this year's tally is up to 1.086 million vehicles – 0.6 per cent better than the same period during 2016 – with the market continuing its trajectory towards a record annual total of about 1.2 million units, save for any unexpected circumstances in the coming weeks.

The economy appears to be healthy as business customers were prominent in November, particularly in the SUV and light-commercial-vehicle segments where their sales lifted by 12.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

Conversely, private purchases dipped by 3.4 per cent for the month, while government sales also took a hit, decreasing 4.5 per cent.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said he is confident that the market will move past last year's record tally, despite less than one month remaining in 2017.

“The momentum built in the market over the past few months appears to be continuing, so we’re on target for another record year,” he said.

Once again, SUVs and 4x4 utes were instrumental in the November market's growth, but small-car sales did swell by 6.4 per cent against the declining tide of passenger cars this year.

Established-market leader Toyota carried on uninterrupted last month, with its registrations jumping by 3.5 per cent to 18,804 units, helping it to take top spot yet again.

The year-to-date sales gap between Mitsubishi and Ford is now less than 1000 registrations.

The Japanese carmaker has already amassed 199,485 sales in 2017, virtually guaranteeing it to surpass 200,000 units for the sixth year in a row while on the way to the annual market crown for the 16th time.

Mazda trails behind in second place, despite its sales taking a 5.0 per cent hit, to 9330 units, last month. Aside from the steady Mazda3, the company's sales were boosted by the CX-5, which was again the best-selling SUV Down Under with 2358 registrations.

Third-placed Hyundai jumped 9.9 per cent to 8781 units, while Holden bounced back slightly with its 2.6 per cent gain to 7955 sales, irrespective of dipping Commodore output.

One of 2017's most improved brands, Mitsubishi, kept climbing with sales up 13.7 per cent to 6678 units and fifth position overall.

The year-to-date sales gap between Mitsubishi and Ford is now less than 1000 registrations – 72,525 to 71,635 respectively – meaning the race for fifth is very much alive.

Despite stabilising its declining sales recently, Ford found itself in the red again with an 8.1 per cent dive in November to 6275 units.

Shockingly, the locally developed Ranger ute and its mechanically related Everest large SUV sibling were responsible for 64 per cent of total Ford registrations in Australia last month.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen continued its push past the dieselgate scandal with a 10.3 per cent sales improvement to 5364 vehicles and seventh spot in November, while Nissan’s struggles did not subside with registrations down 19.9 per cent to 5077 units.

The top 10 also contained a reinvigorated Honda (4431 vehicles, +26.5 per cent) and quick-rising Kia (4305, +20.5 per cent), which outsold Subaru (4265, +3.0 per cent).

Did you purchase a new vehicle in November? Tell us in the comments below.

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