2022 Nissan X-Trail price and features: Updated Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester and Hyundai Tucson rival nears
Nissan Australia has released pricing and specifications details for the MY22 X...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
After a couple of record breaking years, the car industry stalled in 2014. Sales of locally built cars continued to slide as we move closer to the shuttering of the local industry.
On the flip side, the SUV continues its relentless progress, accounting for one in three new vehicles sold.
Well-heeled buyers treated themselves to a record number of luxury cars. Official figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show 1,113,224 new cars were reported as sold in 2014 - down 2 per cent on the previous year's record.
Here's our list of last year's winners and losers.
Starting at $19,990 plus on-road costs - the same price as in 1994 - the Corolla was Australia's top-seller for the second year in a row, followed closely by the Mazda3.
Some importers sharpened their pencils or added more features to heap pressure on the locals . The results were dramatic for some - sales of Honda's Jazz, Subaru's Impreza and Mitusbishi's ASX grew by roughly a third, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee up 28.2 per cent and the Nissan X-Trail up 17.4 per cent.
Longstanding import nations Japan, Thailand and South Korea went off the boil yet sales from Europe and the United States grew strongly.
SUV sales hit a new high, for the first time accounting for more than 30 per cent of the new-car market.
Since 2007, annual SUV sales have grown by more than 150,000 vehicles. "The increase in SUV purchases is a reflection of the versatility these vehicles provide and the increasing range available in the market," says Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries boss Tony Weber.
As mainstream brands went backwards, most luxury marques posted significant increases. Of the big three, Audi performed the strongest, up 20 per cent, while Mercedes-Benz rallied by 15.8 per cent and BMW was up 10.7 per cent. At the top end, Porsche was up by almost 50 per cent and Rolls Royce nearly 150 per cent.
"The prices of luxury cars have come down," Weber says, "and they have a wider array of vehicles in different segments, so they're starting to drift down into areas where they weren't historically.
"Australia is now in its 23rd year of economic growth...it makes a difference to people's standard of living and that's reflected in the car fleet."
They're not sexy - and they've been largely left behind by a wave of seven-seat SUVs.
A comeback of sorts was due almost entirely to one model, the Honda Odyssey. It's been slammed by some reviewers for its frumpy looks and less than inspiring road manners, but sales of the bigger, more practical model are up by more than 150 per cent.
Production of locally made vehicles hit a 61-year low with just 100,468 Holdens, Fords and Toyotas sold. In 1953, the tally was 99,133 vehicles, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The bureau also provides the peak figure for the Australian car manufacturing industry, 473,045 vehicles in 1976.
In 1960, more than 90 per cent of cars sold in Australia were made locally. In 2014, more than 90 per cent of cars were imported.
The changing of the guard at the top of the charts continued, with Hyundai and Mazda closing the gap on No.2 Holden.
Meanwhile, Ford posted its worst sales performance in almost 50 years and its 10th consecutive year of decline.
Toyota was the market leader for a record 12th year in a row. It wasn't all good news - the Japanese giant's sales were down for the third consecutive year, 203,498 deliveries, down from a peak of 238,983 in 2008.
Once tipped as the next big thing, pint-sized city runabouts hit the skids. Sales of micro cars - including the Mitsubishi Mirage, Holden Barina Spark and Nissan Micra - dropped by 30 per cent. Meanwhile diesel passenger car sales fell by 17 per cent and sales of hybrid cars to private buyers fell by 30 per cent.
Australians bought 100,000 fewer passenger cars than in 2007. Eight years ago passenger cars accounted for more than 60 per cent of the market; over the past two years they have slipped below 50 per cent.
Mid-sized and large sedans continue to feel the brunt of the switch to SUVs - last year for the first time baby softroaders outstripped mid-sized sedans. Falcon sales were down by more than 40 per cent. Camry sales dropped by 11 per cent.
The end of the mining boom and drought in some states have stalled Australia's work utes after years of strong growth. NSW was the only market to grow in 2014, with WA, Qld and Tasmania bearing the brunt of the slowdown. Notable exceptions are Ford's Ranger and the Isuzu D-Max. More sad news for locals: Falcon ute sales dipped by 40 per cent and Holden utes by 6 per cent.
Top 10 brands in 2014
Toyota 203,501 -- down 5.2 per cent
Holden 106,092 -- down 5.3 per cent
Mazda 100,704 -- down 2.4 per cent
Hyundai 100,011 -- up 3.1 per cent
Ford 79,703 -- down 8.6 per cent
Mitsubishi 68,637 -- down 4.0 per cent
Nissan 66,025 -- down 14.0 per cent
Volkswagen 54,801 -- down 0.2 per cent
Subaru 40,502 -- up 0.8 per cent
Honda 32,998 -- down 15.9 per cent
Top 10 cars in 2014
Toyota Corolla 43,735 -- up 0.5 per cent
Mazda3 43,313 -- up 2.9 per cent
Toyota HiLux 38,126 -- down 4.5 per cent
Hyundai i30 31,505 -- up 3.0 per cent
Holden Commodore 30,203 -- up 8.8 per cent
Ford Ranger 26,619 -- up 22.3 per cent
Mitsubishi Triton 24,256 -- down 1.0 per cent
Toyota Camry -- 22,044 down 11.3 per cent
Mazda CX-5 21,571 -- up 7.2 per cent
Volkswagen Golf 19,545 -- up 10.6 per cent