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Australian vehicle sales for December 2014 – best of the year

Australian new vehicle registration VFACTS figures for December 2014 have been released, revealing the best-selling vehicles of the year.

2014 Toyota Prado Kakadu

Standing out above the rest is Toyota. It sold a whopping 203,501 vehicles in 2014. Although it was easy enough to surpass runner-up Holden with its 106,092 effort, the Japanese manufacturer couldn’t match its 2013 effort. Sales were down 5.2 per cent compared with 2013.

As for December, specifically, Toyota dominated the rest despite a 3.0 per cent drop in sales compared with December 2013 figures. Mazda reclaimed second spot from Hyundai in the rankings, while Honda jumped back into the top 10 and into ninth place. The top ten brands for December 2014 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 19,015 (up from 15,995 of November 2014)
  2. Mazda – 8731 (up from 8106)
  3. Hyundai – 7657 (down from 8600)
  4. Holden – 7752 (down from 7849)
  5. Mitsubishi – 7438 (up from 7067)
  6. Ford – 5936 (up from 5843)
  7. Nissan – 5869 (up from 5183)
  8. Volkswagen – 4539 (up from 4403)
  9. Honda – 3758 (up from 2981)
  10. Subaru – 3431 (down from 3802)

In terms of the best-selling vehicle brands of 2014, almost all brands experienced a drop in sales compared with 2013. Hyundai and Subaru were the only carmakers to report an increase on the previous year totals. Meanwhile, Honda reported the biggest decrease, dropping 15.9 per cent. The top 10 brands for all of 2014 were as follows.

  1. Toyota – 203,501 (down from 214,630 of 2013)
  2. Holden – 106,092 (down from 112,059)
  3. Mazda – 100,704 (down from 103,144)
  4. Hyundai – 100,011 (up from 97,006)
  5. Ford – 79,703 (down from 87,236)
  6. Mitsubishi – 68,637 (down from 71,528)
  7. Nissan – 66,025 (down from 76,733)
  8. Volkswagen – 54,801 (down from 54,892)
  9. Subaru – 40,502 (up from 40,200)
  10. Honda – 32,998 (down from 39,258)

In terms of the best-selling cars of the year, Toyota came in first place again with the Corolla. This is now the second consecutive year the Corolla has been the top-seller in the country for the year. It only just bettered its nemesis though, the Mazda3. See our previous report for the top 10 best-selling cars of 2014.

During December, specifically, the Mazda3 beat the Corolla quite comfortably. Unfortunately for Holden, the Toyota Camry managed to slip past the Commodore and take sixth place. But it was the Mitsubishi Triton (4×2 and 4×4 combined) that stood out the most. The popular ute worked its way straight into third place during December. The top five models in terms of outright sales for December 2014 were as follows:

  1. Mazda3 – 3803 (up from 3499 of November)
  2. Toyota Corolla – 3546 (up from 3264)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 3420 (up from 2182)
  4. Toyota HiLux – 3330 (up from 2920)
  5. Hyundai i30– 2828 (down from 2886)

2014 Toyota Camry

Over in the Medium Cars under $60,000 segment, the Toyota Camry, as mentioned, was very popular during December. Toyota sold 2374 examples, followed up by 397 sales of the Mazda6 and 342 sales of the Volkswagen Jetta. The Camry was the best-selling model for the year, reporting 22,044 sales (down 11.3 per cent on 2013).

Stepping up to the Medium Cars over $60,000 segment, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is still on a roll. It was the flavour of the month for December and the overall favourite of 2014. The top five in this segment for December were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 647 (down from 817)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 354 (down from 393)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 322 (down from 397)
  4. Lexus IS – 208 (up from 164)
  5. Audi A4 – 193 (up from 151)

As for the entire year, C-Class sales were actually down 2.0 per cent compared with 2013. And this is despite the release of an all-new model update. BMW 3 Series, coming in second place, reported a big drop in sales too, decreasing 17.5 per cent on 2013. Audi reported a 5.9 per cent increase. The top five in this segment for 2014 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 5845 (down from 5963 of 2013)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 4588 (down from 5562)
  3. Lexus IS – 2686 (down from 2843)
  4. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 2682 (up from 678 [new model])
  5. Audi A4 – 2635 (up from 2488)

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Large Cars under $70,000 segment took a blow in December, with the favourite, the Holden Commodore, reporting 2009 sales. Ford Falcon sales jumped from 411 in November to 578 in December, helped by the release of the FG X Falcon. Toyota sold 867 examples of the Aurion which was a big jump from the 336 sold in November.

Overall for the year, Holden Commodore sales overtook 2013 figures by 8.8 per cent. Ford was unable to match 2013’s 10,610 effort, with just 6349 sales in 2014 (down 40.2 per cent). Lastly, Toyota Aurion sales dropped 24.5 per cent from 6839 to 5163 in 2014.

Moving up into Large Cars over $70,000 segment, the top lineup shuffled around quite a bit from November to December. The Mercedes E-Class shines the brightest, however, Jaguar pulled a surprise move by snatching second place with the XF. This pushed the BMW 5 Series down into fourth. The top five in this segment for December and for 2014 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 145 (equal to November)
  2. Jaguar XF – 72 (up from 69)
  3. Audi A6 – 67 (up from 33)
  4. BMW 5 Series – 59 (down from 75)
  5. Lexus GS – 22 (up from 6)
  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 1570 (up from 1451 of 2013)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 882 (down from 1108)
  3. Jaguar XF – 846 (down from 874)
  4. Audi A6 – 617 (up from 493)
  5. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – 377 (down from 456)

Now for the driver’s cars in the Sports Car under $80,000 class. Toyota, predictably, overshadowed all of its rivals with the 86 coupe in December and for the entire year in fact. It’s been a pretty close battle between it and the Hyundai Veloster but in the end the Toyota has come through as most popular.

The Subaru BRZ moved up into third spot during December, pushing the Audi A3 Convertible into fourth. VFACTS is still placing the Subaru WRX in the small car category with the Corolla. Sales dropped slightly for it in December. The top five models in the category during December and throughout 2014 were as follows:

  1. Toyota 86 – 329 (up from 205 of November)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 212 (down from 321)
  3. Audi A3 Convertible – 115 (down from 139)
  4. Subaru BRZ – 170 (up from 125)
  5. BMW 1/2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 89 (up from 87)
    (Subaru WRX – 328 [down from 346] – not officially in this segment)
  1. Toyota 86 – 4257 (down from 6706 of 2013)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 3405 (down from 3928)
  3. BMW 2 Series – 1152 (up from 1070 [1 series])
  4. Subaru BRZ – 1112 (down from 1411)
  5. Audi A3 Convertible – 600 (up from 122 [new model])
    (Subaru WRX – 3554 [up from 1855] – not officially in this segment)

BMW 4 Series Convertible

Stepping up to the hot Sport Cars over $80,000 segment, the BMW 4 Series is still going strong. It reported the best sales in December, meanwhile the gap is closing between it and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. It’s a similar story for the yearly sales too, although C-Class Coupe sales dropped 9.4 per cent for the year and 4 Series sales rose 545.5 per cent mostly due to it being a new model. The new Lexus RC is off to a good start for the month, jumping straight into fifth. It went on sale in November. The top five in this category for December and for 2014 were as follows:

  1. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 159 (down from 204 of November)
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 140 (down from 149)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabrio – 88 (down from 124)
  4. Audi A5 – 64 (up from 41)
  5. Lexus RC – 59 (up from 37)
  1. BMW 4 Series – 2201 (up from 341 + 738 [old 3 Series] of 2013)
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 1851 (down from 2043)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabrio – 1239 (up from 1114)
  4. Audi A5 – 642 (down from 689)
  5. Mercedes-Benz SLK – 475 (down from 521)

Up in the pin-up poster Sport Cars over $200,000 class, the Porsche 911 has been dominating for the year and for December. BMW 6 Series sales are also still going strong, and BMW even sold 3 examples of the i8 hybrid.

For the year, Porsche 911 sales are up 32.6 per cent, followed by BMW 6 Series sales that are up 5.0 per cent. Ferrari sales are also up, 6.6 per cent, as are Aston Martin sales, up 12.8 per cent. The top five in the category during December 2014 and all of 2014 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 27 (down from 31 of November)
  2. BMW 6 Series – 19 (down from 23)
  3. Ferrari (models not specified) – 12 (down from 13)
  4. Bentley (models not specified) – 11 (up from 10)
  5. McLaren – 6/Maserati (models not specified) – 6
  1. Porsche 911 – 366 (up from 276)
  2. BMW 6 Series – 252 (up from 240)
  3. Ferrari (models not specified) – 113 (up from 106)
  4. Jaguar XK – 105 (up from 79)
  5. Maserati (models not specified) – 99 (down from 108)

Isuzu D-Max

A change of pace, the 4×4 utes were among the favourites for the year in Australia. Toyota didn’t take the crown for December though. It was collected by the Mitsubishi Triton during the month, reporting 3162 sales. Toyota made do with 2435 sales of the HiLux, followed by the Ford Ranger 4×4 with 1636 sales.

In terms of Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute sales, Mitsubishi’s strong demand for the 4×4 variants led to an overall win for the month. This was the first time in 2014 the HiLux was bumped from top spot in this category.

The Isuzu D-Max also proved popular, jumping from seventh place in November to fourth place in December. Interestingly, almost all makes saw an increase in sales compared with November. The top ten 4×2 and 4×4 combined figures for December 2014 look like this:

  1. Mitsubishi Triton – 3420 (up from 2182)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3330 (up from 2920)
  3. Ford Ranger – 1988 (down from 2092)
  4. Isuzu D-Max – 1775 (up from 945)
  5. Holden Colorado – 1295 (up from 1189)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1126 (down from 1209)
  7. Nissan Navara – 1114 (up from 1058)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 960 (up from 692)
  9. Great Wall V200 – 69 (up from 22)
  10. Great Wall V240 – 42 (up from 34)

Hyundai ix35

SUV segments jumped around during December, with the Mitsubishi ASX unable to hold onto its strong lead in November. This left an open door for the Hyundai ix35 to fall back into its usual top spot in the entry class. The Toyota RAV4 bounced into top spot ahead of the very popular Mazda CX-5 in the segment above.

Moving up a notch, the Audi Q3 overtook all in its segment during December, meanwhile Toyota showed dominance in the larger segment with the Kluger and Prado. In all SUV segments the top-sellers for December 2014 were as follows:
(We’ll publish a separate report for SUV and 4×4 yearly sales for 2014.)

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Hyundai ix35 – 1197 (down from 1697)
    Nissan QASHQAI – 872 (up from 546)
    Subaru XV – 849 (down from 918)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Audi Q3 – 168 (equal)
    BMW X1 – 154 (up from 150)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 137 (down from 219)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Toyota RAV4 – 1766 (up from 1477)
    Mazda CX-5 – 1717 (up from 1617)
    Nissan X-Trail – 1279 (down from 1595)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Audi Q5 – 286 (down from 339)
    Range Rover Evoque – 214 (up from 184)
    BMW X3 – 174 (down from 227)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 275 (down from 367)
    Mercedes-Benz M-Class – 232 (down from 341)
    Land Rover Range Rover Sport – 206 (up from 170)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 797 (up from 675)
    Nissan Patrol – 189 (up from 157)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in December were up on November’s figures, with 96,809 sales versus 92,232 in November. Sales for the month were down 0.1 per cent on December 2013 figures. For the year, Australians bought 1,113,224 compared with 1,136,227 (down 2.0 per cent).

As for what fuel types buyers went for in December 2014, buyers still prefer petrol as the main power source. Electric vehicle sales rose considerably in December though, which could be partly thanks to the introduction of the Tesla Model S in Australia. The figures for private buyers in terms of vehicle fuel type were as follows (passenger, SUV, and light commercial combined):

Petrol – 37,147 (up from 33,346 of November)
Diesel – 13,678 (up from 11,756)
Hybrid – 268 (down from 299)
Electric – 38 (up from 21)
LPG – 9 (up from 6)

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.