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Toyota tops 2018 Australian new car sales

Toyota Australia sold 217,061 new cars last year, led by the market-leading HiLux and popular Corolla.

Toyota Australia has topped the 2018 Australian new-car sales charts for the 16th year in a row with a haul of 217,061, despite the overall market slipping 3.0 per cent overall to 1,153,111 units.

The month of December saw the market volume drop a drastic 15 percent over the same month in 2017, heralded by November’s 7.4 percent fall after a year of negative new-vehicle sales factors such as tightening credit, falling house prices, lack of wage growth and an upcoming federal election.

However, the 1,153,111 haul is still only the 11th time the market has surpassed the seven-digit figure, and predictions from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries see year-end 2019 sales being strong.

Cementing Toyota’s top place finish, which was a slight 0.2 percent increase over its 2017 total, the HiLux light-commercial vehicle was the best-selling model of the year with a record 51,705 sales, while the Corolla again topped the passenger car ladder, and third overall, with 35,320.

Rounding out its top 10 model representation is the RAV4 mid-size SUV at eighth place on 22,165 sales.

However, it was overall second-place Mazda (111,280, -4.4 percent) who can boast the best-selling SUV in Australia as its CX-5 managed a sixth-place finish on 26,173.

The HiLux light-commercial vehicle was the best-selling model of the year with a record 51,705 sales. The HiLux light-commercial vehicle was the best-selling model of the year with a record 51,705 sales.

Meanwhile, the once-passenger-car-leading Mazda3 finished fourth overall with 31,065.

Hyundai finished the year in third place on 94,187 sales (-2.9 percent) with its i30 small car placing fifth on 28,188 new registrations.

Fourth-placed Mitsubishi was one of the few brands to grow its market share in 2018, increasing 5.3 percent to 84,944 thanks to strong showings from its seventh-placed Triton (24.896) and 10th-position ASX (19,950).

Both Ford and Holden struggled in 2018, dropping 11.6 and a massive 32.7 percent of sales respectively to 69,081 and 60,754 for fifth and sixth place.

Ford’s Ranger – Australia’s second-favourite model – still accounted for the bulk of the Blue Oval brand’s volume with 42,144 new registrations last year, while the Mustang contributed 6412 sales to top the sports car charts.

None of Holden’s models however, placed in the top 10 last year with its most successful nameplate being the Colorado that fell just shy of the podium with 18,301 sales, while the Commodore dropped a dramatic 61.8 percent to 9040 in the changeover to an import model.

Meanwhile, Kia fell just 1939 shy of Holden, placing seventh thanks to a 7.5 percent jump in sales with 58,815 South Korean-branded vehicles finding new homes in 2018.

Nissan increased its share by 2.0 percent last year to 57,688 for eighth place, as its X-Trail landed in ninth position overall with 21,192 sales.

Rounding out the top 10 brands of 2018 is Volkswagen (56,620, -2.4 percent) and Honda (51,525, +10.0 percent).

In the luxury car segment, Mercedes-Benz again topped the charts despite its 13.1 percent decline in sales to 32,201 thanks to its strong-selling CLA (3086), GLC SUV (5605) and C-Class (6575) – the latter being the most popular premium car in Australia.

BMW finished last year as the second most popular luxury marque with 23,055 sales, down 2.4 percent, while Audi placed third with 19,416 sales, down 11.8 percent