Although the icons of Australia’s automotive industry, Ford and Holden, went backwards in sales in 2015, overall sales hit the million mark for the fourth year in a row, with preliminary figures tipping 1.156 million.
Holden went backwards by 2.9% and was within reach of Hyundai, with less than 1000 sales between the two. The Blue Oval, meanwhile, hurt even more, with sales dropping by 11.6% and outside of the top five, beaten by Mitsubishi for the first time. The iconic Falcon, once one of the country’s favourite cars, sold less than 6000 units and was comfortably outsold by Germany’s Mercedes-Benz, with their C Class sedan.It wasn’t all bad news for Australian made cars, however. Toyota’s Camry cracked the number one position in December, for the first time in 2015, helped by a pricing structure and finance package that made the vehicle’s value a better proposition. 5320 Camrys found new homes in December, making it just the third time the Camry has topped a monthly sales chart, with the Corolla, a perennial top seller, moving 3470, just twenty more than its persistent rival, the Mazda 3.Toyota and Ford stood nose to nose in the workhorse stakes, with the Ranger just 290 units behind in December, with 2840 against the 2130 of the HiLux. The Commodore, also once a family favourite, shifted just 2620 in December and in series 2 guise, with Mitsubishi’s revamped Triton, with 2140 units, making inroads.Hyundai’s i30 moved 2000 units in December just ahead of the 1920 of Mazda’s CX 5 and stablemate Tucson, at 1630.
Overall, Toyota also took the number one spot for December and for 2015, with a rise to 206237 units, an increase of 1.3%. Mazda saw a huge increase for 2015, with a huge 13.2 percent putting them into second overall, with 114024. Mazda also took the runner up position in December, albeit with half of Toyota’s 21K units, at 9700.
Third for 2015 and December was Holden, at 102951 and 9145.
Hyundai jumped by 1.9%, to 102004, to claim fourth and fifth went to Mitsubishi, at 71752. The bottom half of the top ten: Ford 70,454 — down 11.6 per cent, Nissan 66,063 — up 0.05 per cent, Volkswagen 60,225 — up 9.9 per cent, Subaru 43,600 — up 7.6 per cent, Honda 40,100 — up 21.5 per cent.
What also stood out in 2015 was the continued rise of ute sales, with the Triton, Ranger and HiLux, tradionally seen as workhorses, more and more being used as family vehicles in a dual cab configuration. Small cars continued to sell well also, ahead of the SUV category. Production volumes, month by month, were also mostly down in 2015, as Ford prepares to wind up local manufacturing this year and Holden & Toyota look to do so in 2017.