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Australian vehicle sales for December 2013 – best of the year

The official VFACTS figures for Australian new vehicle registrations for December 2013 are in, revealing the best-selling and strongest-growing models of the year.

Toyota 86

With 2014 well and truly underway, we can take this opportunity to look at some of the most popular vehicles on sale and start to put together some predictions for 2014.

Starting with the most popular manufacturer. Toyota stood out as the clear favourite during 2013. The Japanese company, with manufacturing facilities in Australia, sold an incredible 214,630 vehicles. It was enough to fend off second-best sellers, Holden, quite easily. The local company sold 112,059 vehicles.

As for the high-end supercar makers, Ferrari sold an impressive 106 vehicles, in front of Lamborghini’s 47, but behind Maserati’s 134 effort. Porsche was the clear favourite though, posting 1905 sales. Porsche’s figures are expected to rise further in 2014 thanks to the arrival of the Macan mid-size SUV.

The overall lineup rankings in terms of outright best-selling manufacturers remained stable for December, and carried through for the overall yearly sales result. The top ten manufacturers for 2013 were as follows:

1. Toyota – 214,640 (down from 218,176 in 2012)
2. Holden – 112,059 (down from 114,665)
3. Mazda – 103,144 (down from 103,886)
4. Hyundai – 97,006 (up from 91,536)
5. Ford – 87,236 (down from 90,408)
6. Nissan – 76,733 (down from 79,747)
7. Mitsubishi – 71,528 (up from 58,868)
8. Volkswagen – 54,892 (up from 54,835)
9. Subaru – 40,200 (up from 40,189)
10. Honda – 39,358 (up from 35,812)

As for the biggest increases, Alfa Romeo sales rose 161.9 per cent on last year’s efforts. The Italian marque reported 2373 sales in 2013, up from 906 in 2012. Bettering that, Infiniti sales rose 257.6 per cent, recording 304 sales as opposed to 85 units in 2012.

The brand that stood out the most though was Fiat. Fiat sales climbed a massive 651.3 per cent in 2013. Sales skyrocketed from 513 in 2012 to 3854 during 2013.

Fiat 500C Lounge

Other standout increases included Chrysler, bettering the previous year’s efforts by 96.9 per cent. Bentley also made considerable margins, climbing 86.2 per cent, while Jaguar rounded out the top six with a 40.6 per cent increase.

As for the worst, aside from companies that closed down such as Opel, Great Wall sales dropped 44..5 per cent. Proton also returned big drops in sales, down by 39.2 per cent, with Citroen rounding out the bottom three with a drop of 30.7 per cent. (Niche carmaker Caterham also saw sales drop from 3 to 2 units, a 33.3 per cent decrease.)

Things were a little predictable in regards to the best-selling vehicle model. Well, at least for the top two. Toyota just outsold Mazda in the Corolla versus Mazda3 battle, but from there it was mostly how it’s been all year. The top five models for the year were as follows:

1. Toyota Corolla – 43,498 (up from 38,799 in 2012)
2. Mazda3 – 42,082 (down from 44,128)
3. Toyota HiLux – 39,931 (down from 40,646)
4. Hyundai i30 – 30,582 (up from 28,348)
5. Holden Commodore – 27,766 (down from 30,532)

2014 Mazda3 sedan

The top five for December 2013 specifically were as follows:
1. Mazda3 – 4022
2. Toyota Corolla – 3704
3. Toyota Camry – 3534
4. Toyota HiLux – 3474
5. Mitsubishi Triton – 3051

As sad as it might be for the blue-badge fans, Ford just couldn’t top Holden’s efforts in the Large Cars below $70,000 market segment. Ford sold 10,610 Falcons versus 27,766 Commodores in 2013. Falcon sales dropped 24.4 per cent on 2012 figures while Commodore sales fell 9.1 per cent. The tables might soon turn when Ford introduces the new Falcon later this year.

The Toyota Aurion went to 6839 homes in 2013, which is actually down the most (24.6 per cent) out of the three on 2012 figures.

Moving up into the luxurious Large Cars over $70,000 segment, Mercedes-Benz easily trumped all of the big-name brands with the E-Class. Sales of the E-Class were also up the most out of the competition, with sales rising 40.1 per cent compared with BMW’s 1.9 per cent increase in 5 Series sales.

Both Audi and Lexus sales dropped, with the A6 going to 24 per cent fewer people in 2013, and 20.8 per cent fewer buyers going for the Lexus GS compared with 2012. The top five in this segment for the year were as follows:

1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 1451 (up from 1036 in 2012)
2. BMW 5 Series – 1108 (up from 1087)
3. Jaguar XF – 874 (up from 648)
4. Lexus GS – 494 (down from 624)
5. Audi A6 – 493 (down from 649)

E-Klasse, E 300 BlueTec HYBRID, Limousine Elegance, (W 212), 201

Over in the Medium Cars under $60,000 category, Toyota shone through once again with the Camry. During December an impressive 3534 Camrys were sold. The figure easily betters the runner-up, the Mazda6, which reported 526 sales.

Toyota was able to grab the overall sales crown for the segment with the Camry, posting 24,860 units throughout 2013. Mazda sold 7701 examples of the 6, followed by the Volkswagen Passat with 3280 sales.

In the more premium Medium Cars over $60,000 segment, the battle between BMW and Mercedes-Benz was very tight. Mercedes just clawed through to be granted the overall 2013 sales crown with the C-Class, which posted 5963 sales versus the BMW 3 Series’s 5562 effort.

Interestingly, 3 Series sales rose 1.3 per cent while the C-Class’s popularity dropped 10.7 per cent on 2012 figures. Lexus posted some big increases compared with 2012 figures, jumping 33.9 per cent in 2013. Audi A4 sales dropped 9.4 per cent. The top five for 2013 were as follows:

1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 5963 (down from 6676 in 2012)
2. BMW 3 Series – 5562 (up from 5493)
3. Lexus IS – 2843 (up from 2123)
4. Audi A4 – 2488 (down from 2746)
5. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 678 (not sold in 2012)

BMW 335i

Sports car categories were, as expected, overshadowed by the Toyota 86 during 2013. Interesting highlights across all segments included Porsche making a massive increase in sales of the Cayman, jumping 496.7 per cent on 2012 figures with 179 units compared with 30 of 2012.

Nissan, on the other hand, sold just 1 example of the GT-R in December, contributing little to its overall 2013 tally of 64 (down 16.9 per cent on 2012 figures).

Some other big movers included the Infiniti G coupe and convertible. The luxury brand sold 400 per cent more examples in 2013 than in 2012 (75 vs 15).

Ferrari made an increase in sales (8.2 per cent), as did Lamborghini (2.7 per cent up for coupes and 125 per cent for convertibles) and Maserati (8.1 per cent), which is great for us spectators as we should be seeing more exotics on the roads compared with 2012.

The top five best-sellers in each category for 2013 overall sales were as follows.

Sports Cars under $80,000
1. Toyota 86 – 6706 (up from 2047 in 2012)
2. Hyundai Veloster – 3928 (down from 4107)
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 2043 (down from 2336)
4. Subaru BRZ – 1411 (up from 200)
5. BMW 1 Series Coupe/Convertible – 1070 (down from 1385)

Sports Cars over $80,000
1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabrio – 1114 (up from 1034)
2. BMW 3 Series Coupe/Convertible/4 Series – 1079 (up from 765)
3. Audi A5 – 689 (down from 944)
4. Mercedes-Benz SLK – 521 (down from 701)
5. Porsche Boxster – 249 (up from 157)

Sports Cars over $200,000
1. Porsche 911 – 276 (up from 230 in 2012)
2. BMW 6 Series – 240 (up from 222)
3. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class – 155 (up from 62)
4. Maserati (models not specified) – 134 (up from 124)
5. Ferrari (models not specified) – 106 (up from 98)

2013-Porsche-Cayman-2

In one of the most popular vehicle segments of all in Australia, the utes, Toyota dominated once again in the 4×2, 4×4, and combined 4×2 and 4×4 segments. Interestingly, despite being the overall crown-wearer, HiLux 4×2 sales were down by 7.0 per cent on 2012 figures. 4×4 HiLux sales were up 0.3 per cent.

The biggest increase went to the Mitsubishi Triton where sales rose 57.4 per cent in the 4×4 market. Meanwhile Holden Colorado 4×2 sales jumped 69.8 per cent on 2012 efforts. Overall best-sellers in 4×2 and 4×4 combined for 2013 were as follows:

1. Toyota HiLux – 39,931 (down from 40,646 in 2012)
2. Mitsubishi Triton – 24,512 (up from 18,502)
3. Nissan Navara – 23,899 (down from 26,045)
4. Ford Ranger – 21,752 (up from 18,097)
5. Holden Colorado – 17,203 (up from 12,902)
6. Mazda BT-50 – 13,702 (up from 11,848)
7. Isuzu D-Max – 10,089 (up from 7782)
8. Volkswagen Amarok – 7522 (up from 6742)
9. Great Wall V200 – 2667 (down from 4793)
10. Great Wall V240 – 1716 (down from 2697)

2013 Ford Kuga Titanium

Lastly, the largest and most popular segment of them all, SUVs. There were some big increases for various models compared with 2012 figures. Ford Kuga sales rose 250 per cent (3874 vs 1107). Holden Colorado 7 sales also increased significantly, up 802.3 per cent (1597 vs 177).

Other big increases included the Infiniti FX, which saw gains of 281.6 per cent compared with 2012 figures (187 vs 49), as well as the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, sales of which increased 230.1 per cent (931 vs 282).

The top ten most popular SUVs overall for 2013 were as follows:

1. Mazda CX-5 – 20,129 (up from 15,861 in 2012)
2. Hyundai ix35 – 19,098 (up from 11,469)
3. Toyota RAV4 – 16,983 (up from 14,651)
4. Toyota Prado – 14,568 (down from 17,045)
5. Ford Territory – 14,261 (down from 14,646)
6. Subaru Forester – 13,649 (up from 11,533)
7. Holden Captiva 7 – 13,282 (up from 11,378)
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee – 12,931 (up from 8373)
9. Toyota Kluger – 12,668 (down from 13,239)
10. Honda CR-V – 12,510 (up from 4733)

In the various segments, the best-sellers looked like this:

SUV Small under $40,000:

Hyundai ix35 – 19,098 (up from 11,469 in 2012)
Nissan Dualis – 12,434 (down from 13,141)
Subaru XV – 10,764 (up from 9908)

SUV Small above $40,000:

Audi Q3 – 2897 (up from 1472)
BMW X1 – 2108 (up from 1464)
MINI Countryman – 509 (down from 516)

Audi Q3

SUV Medium under $60,000:

Mazda CX-5 – 20,129 (up from 15,861 in 2012)
Toyota RAV4
– 16,983 (up from 14,651)
Subaru Forester – 13,649 (up from 11,533)

SUV Medium above $60,000:

Audi Q5 – 3044 (up from 2830)
BMW X3 – 2855 (up from 2500)
Range Rover Evoque – 2595 (up from 2496)

SUV Large under $70,000:

Toyota Prado – 14,568 (down from 17,045)
Ford Territory – 14,261 (down from 14,646)
Holden Captiva 7 – 13,282 (up from 11,378)

SUV Large above $70,000:

BMW X5 – 3302 (up from 2778)
Mercedes-Benz M-Class – 2848 (up from 2729)
Lexus RX – 2188 (up from 2169)

SUV Upper Large under $100,000:

Toyota LandCruiser – 9311 (down from 10,829)
Nissan Patrol – 2364 (down from 3207)

SUV Upper Large above $100,000:

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – 561 (up from 304)
Range Rover – 269 (up from 162)
Lexus LX – 153 (down from 181)

2013 Nissan Patrol

Overall, new vehicle sales in Australia in December were only just down on November figures; 96,756 versus 96,924. Sales were up 1.4 per cent on December 2012 figures though.

As for what fuel types buyers preferred throughout 2013, it seems more people bought diesels in 2013 compared with 2012, while a lot fewer are buying hybrids. Fewer buyers went for LPG in 2013 as well.

The sales figures for all of 2013 for private buyers in terms of vehicle fuel were as follows (passenger, SUV, and light commercial combined):

Petrol – 432,877 (up from 414,792 in 2012)
Diesel – 145,153 (up from 117,818)
Hybrid – 4655 (down from 6082)
LPG – 532 (down from 725)
Electric – 95 (up from 47)

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • stevecro

    Thanks for the comprehensive report Brett.
    But please, “fewer buyers, fewer vehicles” – not “less”