The Mazda3 scored another month at the top of the sales charts in February but Toyota Australia, which was best overall brand and equal second individually with the compact Corolla, said it is still unable to meet showroom demand.
It is waiting for the resumption of full deliveries of the Corolla and its work-and-play HiLux utes and believes it will then have the firepower to tackle the Mazda3 head-on for sales supremacy.
"We're still not back to where we should be after the production problems last year, but we're getting there. We're looking to this month and April to get us back on track," the spokesman for Toyota Australia, Mike Breen, revealed yesterday. "We are holding more orders than we can fill. We're now being affected by global demand and the capacity in our factories.
"It's a matter of supply. We can only sell what arrives from Japan and Thailand."
The February win for the Mazda3 was its third straight monthly success and came with deliveries of 3733 cars, well ahead of the Corolla and Holden Commodore in a tie for second on 2991.
The Holden Cruze was not able to repeat its January result, when it outsold the Commodore for the first time, but still managed fourth overall with 2880 sales ahead of the Hyundai i30 on 2433.
The February result gives the Mazda3 a 1404 margin after just two months of 2012, and around 25 per cent of its total sales, but Toyota is planning on at least 3200 sales a month for the Corolla once it can fill its pipeline.
Although the Commodore was equal in second its sales were down by nearly 900 cars on the same month in 2011, with the Ford Falcon - only 18th in the charts - down by just on 800 in a reflection of the ongoing slide in large-car sales.
But overall demand in February lifted by 6.0 per cent with a total of 85,723 deliveries for the month.
The best performers, as usual, were SUVs which improved by 26.6 per cent on the same month in 2012, with compact SUV deliveries jumping by a massive 68.1 per cent.
TOP 10 BRANDS - February 2012 (2012 YTD)
- Toyota: 14,849 (28,914 -1.7%)
- Holden: 9688 (18,749 0.3%)
- Mazda: 8689 (17,168 15.7%)
- Hyundai: 7412 (13,925 7.0%)
- Ford: 6951 (12,789 -8.7%)
- Nissan: 6227 (11,585 10.7%)
- Mitsubishi: 5166 (9732 0.8%)
- Volkswagen: 4132 (7498 35.6%)
- Subaru: 3225 (6830 -5.9%)
- Honda: 2603 (4182 -13.1%)