New vehicle sales report – December 2011

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Australia registered over one million new vehicle sales in 2011 the latest FCAI press release reveals. The final tally of 1,008,437 represents the fourth time the country has passed one million sales in a calendar year.

Despite dropping more than 27,000 sales (-2.6%) on 2010 numbers, FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers reminds us this is still something the motor industry should be proud of.

“2011 full year sales are an exceptional result given the effects of natural disasters both at home and abroad throughout the year,” Mr Chalmers said.

“The uptake of new vehicles was impacted early in the year by economic uncertainty, closely followed by natural disasters in the key markets of Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

“Sales were further subdued by Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, with a resulting shortage of export vehicles from that country a secondary outcome of the extreme loss of life experienced by the Japanese people.”

The top three highest selling brands in 2011 were Toyota (181624 sales), Holden (126,095) and Ford (91,243).

Illustrating the continuing demand for smaller cars in the local market the Mazda3 was the highest selling model in Australia last year with 41,429 sales. Traditional volume seller Holden Commodore (40 617) was close behind and the Toyota Hilux (36,124) maintained its recent grip at the top of the sales charts.

More detail and 2012 forecasts from FCAI after the break.

New Vehicle Sales Top the Million Mark in 2011

The Australian new motor vehicle market has staged a remarkable comeback in the second half of 2011 to finish above one million calendar-year sales for only the fourth time in history.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows that a total of 1,008,437 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were delivered to customers during 2011.

These figures represent a decrease in volume of 2.6 per cent (or 27,137 fewer sales) compared with 2010 – which can be attributed to challenging market conditions and significant supply shortages during the year, according to FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers.

“2011 full year sales are an exceptional result given the effects of natural disasters both at home and abroad throughout the year,” Mr Chalmers said.

“The uptake of new vehicles was impacted early in the year by economic uncertainty, closely followed by natural disasters in the key markets of Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

“Sales were further subdued by Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, with a resulting shortage of export vehicles from that country a secondary outcome of the extreme loss of life experienced by the Japanese people.

“The resilience of the Australian marketplace, combined with strong industry resolve, saw sales recover strongly in the fourth quarter, with total sales finishing just 3.9 per cent behind the FCAI’s forecast of 1,050,000 for the year.”

Sales results
Toyota was the best selling vehicle brand in 2011, with 181,624 sales for a market share of 18 per cent.

Holden and Ford finished second and third with 126,095 sales (12.5 per cent market share) and 91,243 (nine per cent) respectively.

Mazda3 was the best-selling model for the full year, edging out Holden Commodore by 812 vehicles to finish with 41,429 sales.

Toyota HiLux was third overall with 36,124 sales, followed by Toyota Corolla (36,087) and Holden Cruze (33,784).

The small car, Luxury SUV and 4×4 light commercial segments led the sales charge throughout 2011, growing by 2.1, 22.4 and 6.3 per cent respectively.

Looking forward
Mr Chalmers said the FCAI’s outlook for 2012 was cautiously optimistic.

“Once again in 2012 we are predicting the market to top one million sales – a realistic assessment given the recent nature of competitive strategy in the retail sector and strong consumer demand for new models,” he said.

“2012 will require a concerted and collaborative effort by the industry and government to drive the automotive sector in this country forward.

“Top of agenda is the need to finalise a CO2 emission standard in this country, with this industry having led the charge by delivering significant gains in fuel efficiency over the past decade.

“We’ll also be closely assessing the impact of carbon pricing to be introduced from July.

“Significantly, 2012 will be a year where the industry reinforces the pivotal importance of co-investment programs between government and industry in competing for, and winning, important new manufacturing assignments for Australia.”

Top 10 manufacturers (market share and volume)





% diff



















































Source: VFACTS

Top 10 individual models (by sales volume)





% diff







Holden Commodore





Toyota HiLux





Toyota Corolla





Holden Cruze





Hyundai i30





Nissan Navara





Toyota Camry





Ford Falcon





Mitsubishi Lancer




Source: VFACTS

Audi Achieves Seventh Year of Growth

  • Audi Australia finishes 2011 with sales of 14,511 units
  • Seventh successive year of sales growth
  • A year of major highlights

Audi Australia has achieved its seventh successive year of growth, with sales of 14,511 vehicles in 2011.

During this seven year period, Audi tripled its sales in Australia (Full year 2005 result: 4,808 units).

Achieving double digit growth of 12.5 percent over the 2010 full year result, Audi maintained its steady increase in vehicle deliveries to customers throughout 2011.

Audi’s managing director, Uwe Hagen, said the result puts the brand well ahead of its sales target.

“2011 was a year of challenges for the luxury car market, however Audi was able to buck the trend, showing steadily increasing sales month-on-month throughout the year,” Mr Hagen said.

“For the first time in our company’s history, we ended Quarter 1, 2011 as the Number 1 luxury brand in Australia, and then maintained upward growth each month. Our market share also increased in 2011. The result is another year of sustainable growth for Audi in this market,” he said.

Audi’s growth was driven by a clear strategic focus, a strong product offering including several important new models entering the market, and investment by the dealer network in expanded facilities. In all, it was a year of major highlights for the Audi brand.

2011 saw the launch of several brand new generation vehicles including the superb new A7 Sportback, launched in March, which went on to win ‘Best in Category’ at the Australian International Design Awards.

The all-new A6 sedan (July 2011), followed suit, winning three major awards including Drive Car of the Year ‘Best Luxury Car over $80,000’ and ‘People’s Choice Award’, as well as Australia’s Best Cars’ ‘Best Large Car over $60,000).

Also arriving Downunder in 2011 was the ‘Sport’ variant of the all-new Audi A1 model. The A1 Sport joined the new A1 which recorded its first sales in January 2011 (Dec 2010 press launch), and ended the year in the top-selling position in its segment.

A complement of TDI engines joined the new A8 limousine, and following the efficient TDI theme, Audi Australia introduced its first TDI-engined A1 at the end of the year (November) with the arrival of the miserly A1 1.6 TDI. This frugal little engine completed the 3,028km World Solar Challenge journey on its maiden outing in Australia with an average of just 3.4 litres/100km.

At the performance car end of the Audi spectrum, a series of sought-after limited edition versions of the Audi R8, RS 5 and TTRS rounded out the product introductions for the year.

For the very first time, Audi competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour Race in 2011, claiming the top 2 podium positions with the R8 LMS sportscars. The brand will return to defend its title in 2012.

The doors were opened to four brand new facilities for Audi Centre Brisbane, Audi Centre Gold Coast, Solitaire Audi, Adelaide, and Audi Pennant Hills NSW during 2011, continuing the major investment in the brand by the Audi dealer network. Two additional dealerships were opened in Shepparton, VIC and Ballarat, VIC, bringing the total number of Audi dealerships in Australia to 36.

Highlighting the growing attraction of the brand, and to support the expanding dealer network and carpark, Audi’s Modern Apprenticeship Program received a boost with the number of first year apprentices applying for positions up by 150 percent in 2012, compared with 2011.

“Luxury car buyers are recognising that Audi is a brand on the move. We have an exceptional product line-up and a committed team in this country. Our Australian retail sales network also continues its own substantial investment in the brand with new facilities. Our strong performance, new and larger retail facilities, and our growing customer base also provides opportunities for employment with Audi in Australia,” said Uwe Hagen, Audi Australia’s managing director.

“Furthermore, our customers benefit from the strong position of the Audi brand globally, including the investment which has been earmarked for future product and technical developments (Euro 11 billion / AUD 17.6 bio approx. from 2011 – 2015) to sustain the brand’s technological leadership.

“With these cornerstones in place, we will build on the success of 2011, but as with all things worth achieving, it will take hard work and a clear focus on the end goal,” he added.

Commodore and Cruze in the Top Five

For the first time since 2005, two Holden vehicles – Commodore and Cruze – have finished the year among Australia’s top five-selling vehicles.

After a record 15 years as Australia’s number one selling car, the Commodore – Holden’s steadfast local hero – closed 2011 in the number two position with sales of 40,617 units.

Having led year-to-date sales for seven months in 2011, the Commodore passenger range sold 2,814 units in December, making it Australia’s second most popular car for the year.

The Holden Cruze sold 2,783 units in December, placing it the fourth highest-selling car in December and fifth for 2011. Holden sold a total 33,784 Cruzes last year, an increase of 5,450 units or 19.2 per cent compared to 2010. It was also Holden’s best December Cruze result on record.

Elsewhere, Holden experienced a record December for its Captiva 5 SUV, selling 499 units, and the best Captiva 7 December result since 2009, with 992 sales.

The recently-introduced Barina hatch continued to attract new buyers, helping Holden to sell 1,343 Barinas in only its second full month of sales. The result was also the best December in the nameplate’s 26-year history in Australia.

Holden Executive Director Marketing, Sales and Aftersales John Elsworth said while market conditions had been challenging in the closing months of 2011, Holden still had much to celebrate.

“We’re extremely proud of Commodore. No other car in Australian history has been number one for 15 years in a row, and it’s an achievement which Holden is very proud of,” he said.

“During Commodore’s 15-year reign as the number one car the local market has changed significantly with new brands and even completely new types of vehicles giving customers more options than ever before.

“Whole new segments and models have been created, which simply didn’t exist 15 years ago, and this has given Australian consumers unprecedented choice.

”For Commodore to remain so strong throughout this time is a testament to the innovation and talent within Holden and the local industry, which has consistently introduced new, world-class technologies and features alongside or even ahead of the competition.

“Right now, we’re focussing on selling the cars our customers want. Whether it’s a small or large car built at our local manufacturing operations or an imported model from our diverse product portfolio.

“Cruze is another great success story for Holden. Since we started to build the Cruze locally in our Adelaide assembly plant last year, we’ve introduced a range of new fuel efficient engines and launched a distinctive locally-designed hatch, and Cruze has been extremely well received by our customers.

“There’s no doubt we have a challenging year ahead in 2012 but we’re looking forward to the announcement of a new dedicated LPG Commodore in the coming weeks, which will offer significantly reduced running costs and lower carbon emissions, and the arrival of our new generation Colorado LCV mid-year.”

Holden’s December sales totalled 10,193 with a market share of 12.4 per cent. Overall, Holden sold a total of 126,095 units in 2011, bringing the company’s year-end market share to 12.5 per cent.

Record Breaking Year for Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai has recorded its best-ever December sales result since the brand was introduced to Australia in 1986. Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) finished in fourth position overall with 6,858 sales, achieving a market share of 8.3%. The sales result saw an increase of 16.7% in December 2011 compared to a market that was down 4.8% in December 2010.

Overall for 2011, Hyundai posted total sales of 87,008 units, an increase of 8.7% year-on-year. The year end result placed Hyundai Motor Company Australia in fifth position overall with a record annual market share of 8.6%.

Passenger car sales were up for the year with a total of 64,469 units sold in 2011 achieving a market share of 11.5% for the year and placing the brand in fourth position.

The iLoad was the best-selling commercial van in 2011 with 6,610 sales, whilst the iMax was the second best-selling people mover with total sales of 1,922.

In 2011, Hyundai was first in the light car segment with a combined market share of 17.9% for Getz, i20 and Accent models, and fourth in the small car segment with a combined market share of 13.7% for the i30 and Elantra models.

“2011 was a fantastic year for the Hyundai brand in Australia, with a raft of new award winning model vehicles adding further depth to our model line-up,” said Damien Meredith, Director of Sales Hyundai Motor Company Australia. “Closing the year with yet another record month, and an overall sales result of over 87,000 units for 2011 capped an exciting year for the brand and our loyal customers. We were able to increase sales by 8.7% in a market that was down 2.6%”

Hyundai Motor America (HMA) had a record sales result for December with a total sales figure of 50,765 vehicles, an increase of 13% December 2011 v. December 2010. Overall total sales for 2011 was a record 645,691, an increase of 20% over the 2010 year result and saw i45 (sold as Sonata in U.S.), ranked in the top five models overall in the market with sales of over 200,000 units.

Hyundai Motor Company completed the 2011 year with a total December sales result of 371,448 units an increase of 22% from 305,427 units in December 2010. The total sales result saw over 4.05 million units sold in 2011, an overall increase in global sales of 12 %

Hyundai’s 2011 Australian highlights include:

  • iLoad was the best-selling van in Australia achieving 6,610 vehicle sales and a market share of 31.4%.
  • iMax was second in the People Mover segment posting a sales result of 1,922 units and a 17.3% market share.
  • Hyundai was best-selling Light segment brand in Australia with its combined Getz, Accent and i20 models achieving 23,832 vehicle sales and a market share of 17.9%.

Kia Continues Growth in 2011

Kia has defied the new car sales market’s downward trend to finish 2011 in positive growth and lay the foundation for a dynamic 2012.

In December Kia sold 1956 new cars for a year total of 25,128, an increase of 1280 (5.4 per cent) over 2010 in a market that fell by 2.6 per cent, according to the latest industry figures released by VFACTS.

“In what was a challenging year the outcome is in line with our forecasts and aligned with the business plan for the year,” Kia Chief Operating Officer Mr Tony Barlow said.

“Overall the year was pleasing with an impressive run of Best Car and Design awards for Kia models, a clear indication of the growth in our brand strength. With that platform, and new models such as the Rio settling into the market, we are looking towards an exciting 2012.”

Kia ‘s star performer in December was the Cerato small car with 399 sales representing a month-on-month growth of 21.6 per cent over last year and a sensational year-on-year growth of 73 per cent (6,116 units).

The Grand Carnival maintained its domination of the People Movers segment with the 267 sales representing a 35.9 per cent market share, more than double the next best performer.

Also earning a gold performance star was the award-winning Sorento medium SUV with year-on-year growth of 24.5 per cent. The compact Sportage SUV also performed strongly with annual sales of 3602 for annual growth of 17.2 per cent.

Mazda Soars to Record Sales

  • A record 88,333 retails for the year
  • Australia’s leading full-line import brand for the seventh consecutive year
  • 4th overall for the seventh consecutive year
  • Record sales for Mazda2, making it Australia’s best-selling light car
  • Record sales for Mazda3, making it Australia’s best-selling small car and number one overall
  • Record sales for CX-7

With 7,348 retails for December, Mazda finished 2011 on a high securing a new record of 88,333 new vehicle sales and best ever market share of 8.8 per cent. Mazda’s increase of 3,556 or 4.2 per cent over last year’s record result is set against an overall market decline of 2.6 per cent according to VFACTS figures released today.

The enduring popularity of Mazda3 was again proven with 3,325 buyers choosing to take one home in December. A record annual sales total of 41,429 Mazda3s helped secure its position as Australia’s best-selling small car and the country’s number one seller overall.

Mazda2 was another shining light for the Hiroshima company in 2011 with a record 17,501 sales making it Australia’s favourite light car.

Additionally, record sales of CX-7 SUV, a strong start for All-New BT-50 utility and consistent sales across other Mazda models ensured that the company ended 2011 on a high.

“To see Mazda3 top the sales charts is obviously very pleasing but what’s of far more importance is that both Mazda3 and Mazda2 won pole position in their segments against their direct competitors. For this we are indebted to Australia’s private customers who made Mazda their choice in 2011” said Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson.

“We are indebted also to our Dealers and staff who turned what could have been a very difficult year into a solid success. We can now look forward to 2012 and the imminent arrival of CX-5 with great optimism.”

Mitsubishi Sales Remain Strong in 2011

After celebrating 30 years in Australia in 2011, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) ended the year with total annual sales of 61,108, a strong result giving MMAL a healthy 6.1 per cent total market share.

MMAL achieved its highest total SUV figures as a full importer, reaching 23,287 units across Outlander, Challenger, Pajero and ASX. This notable result is a considerable 16 per cent increase on 2010’s figure, highlighting MMAL’s strength in the SUV segment.

It proved to be the best ever annual result for Challenger with sales of 2,406, a 9.6 per cent increase over 2010, in a SUV Medium segment that declined by four per cent.

Triton continued to be a standout performer for Mitsubishi with the two-wheel drive model recording sales of 479 in December taking the year’s total to 5,893 units. The four-wheel drive Triton retained its popularity, registering annual sales of 11,297 an impressive 10.4 per cent increase over 2010 figures, in the competitive 4×4 segment.

MMAL president and CEO, Genichiro Nishina, said despite a difficult year in the automotive market, MMAL ended the year on a positive note.

“2011 proved to be a challenging year especially with the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, followed by the monsoonal floods in Thailand in November and December. Despite this, MMAL’s commitment to delivering highly-equipped, value-packed vehicles to the Australian market never wavered resulting in strong sales for the year,” Nishina said.

“Mitsubishi Motors is committed to sustainable growth and we are looking forward to introducing exciting new products to the market in 2012 and beyond.”

Other highlights for MMAL in 2011 included the public launch of the i-MiEV electric vehicle, and a complete update to the Triton, Challenger, Lancer, Pajero and ASX product ranges.

In addition, Mitsubishi Motor’s global future was previewed with the unveiling of the all-new Mirage and the PX-MiEV II concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan Ends Calendar Year with ‘Best Ever’

Nissan Australia has registered its highest ever monthly December result as a full importer.

With 5985 retail sales (according to VFACTS) the December figure was enough to give a Nissan a healthy 7.3 percent monthly market share – and a calendar year-end result of an impressive 67,926 sales.

The 12 month annual sales figure reflects robust 8.4 percent growth over its 2010 total (62,676) – especially notable against a declining overall market.

Specifically, Nissan achieved its highest Dualis sales in any financial year (1,024) and Micra enjoyed one of its best sales months to date with 926 retails.

Nissan’s Executive General Manager, National Sales & Fleet, Ian Moreillon, said his company’s strong finish to 2011 was achieved though the security of global multi-sourcing. “Being able to source product from five different global locations gave us the coverage to avoid the worst of natural disasters which impacted production in Thailand and Japan in 2011,” he said.

“In addition, the Nissan dealer network responded admirably to the challenge, capitalizing on our sales campaigns and utilizing the resources of Nissan Financial Services Australia as a strategic marketplace advantage,” said Moreillon.

With an impressive suite of new products due in 2012, Nissan expects to further improve on its consistent growth as it strives to become Australia’s leading automotive importer by mid-2013.

Resurgent Renault on a High

A resurgent Renault Australia has finished 2011 on a high. According to VFACTS released today, Renault sold 397 vehicles in December which brings the 2011 sales figure to 3622, the best sales result since 2002 and a 90% increase over 2010.

The Mégane family continues to lead the charge for Renault. The Mégane hatch was the stand out model for 2011 with 971 vehicles sold. In addition, the award-winning Mégane R.S. 250 has been incredibly well received by customers with 407 new vehicles being delivered in 2011.

Renault Australia has also seen a substantial 72% light commercial vehicles sales increase with 615 vans finding eager drivers in 2011. This growth is expected to continue into 2012 with the launch of the highly anticipated new flagship – the Renault Master.

Commenting on the result, Justin Hocevar, Managing Director Renault Australia, said: “I am thrilled with such an impressive result for Renault Australia. This is a reflection of the great product we have along with the hard work and dedication from the Renault Australia team and our dealer network.

“This result is proof that our strategy of de-positioning our vehicles and providing greater value to our customers was the right approach for Renault Australia. We build high quality, reliable cars and have been able to demonstrate this by being the first European brand to offer a 5 year/unlimited warranty on our passenger cars*.

“We are here to stay and look forward to continuing this success in 2012,” said Hocevar.

*Passenger cars excludes Renault Sport.

Forester Shines After Challenging Year

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Forester has dominated annual Compact Sports Utility Vehicle sales for the fourth consecutive year, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

Sales of 13,142 Foresters were down by 10.3 per cent, due entirely to supply chain issues after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

But it wasn’t enough to take Forester off the top sales slot in one of the most competitive vehicles sales categories.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “Forester continues to capture the attention of Australian customers, with its great combination of family appeal, durability and recreational ability.

“The choice of engines from normally aspirated to turbo and diesel gives added customer options and we continue to refine the range, highlighted by the introduction of the sporty S-Edition in 2011.”

Subaru total annual sales of 34,011 were ahead of the company’s revised sales objective after the natural disasters in Japan. However, supply issues removed the ability to set another brand sales record.

Mr Senior said: “It’s worth noting that we achieved a record quarter of sales up to the end of March and were potentially on track for another record sales year, but we were overtaken by events.

He added: “We are very greatful to Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, for their hard work in maintaining heavily impacted supply lines after March, also to our dealer network for their cooperation in allocating cars to suit customer needs wherever they could and, of course, our customers for their patience.

“We are now very optimistic about the future as we’re about to launch our new XV sub-compact SUV, followed by new generation Impreza, then the BRZ sports car around mid-year. So despite the challenges of 2011, the New Year is looking bright.”

Toyota leads sales for ninth consecutive year

Toyota has overcome production disruptions caused by a tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand to be the top-selling automotive brand for 2011.

Official figures released today show Toyota’s market-leading performance helped lift the automotive industry past one million sales for only the fourth year.

Australians bought 1,008,437 new vehicles in 2011, of which 181,624 carried the Toyota badge – a level never reached by any other car company.

It was the ninth year in a row Toyota has been Australia’s most popular automotive brand.

Toyota’s total was more than 55,500 ahead of its nearest rival – an additional 1,000 sales every week.

Toyota’s executive vice president David Buttner said Toyota’s sales result was restricted by lack of supply due to the impact of the natural disasters.

“Those missing Toyota sales are due to vehicles that simply were not built due to the disruptions that occurred to production,” Mr Buttner said.

“There is no doubt that, if those vehicles had arrived at Toyota dealerships, our sales in Australia would have topped 200,000.”

Toyota’s Corolla was Australia’s best-selling vehicle for five months of the year – in January and from September through to December. A total of 36,087 Corolla sedans and hatches were sold to local motorists.

Corolla was pipped by HiLux as Toyota’s biggest seller for the year with 36,124 deliveries. HiLux was Australia’s best-selling ute, best-selling four-wheel drive and best-selling light-commercial vehicle. It was the outright best seller in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Camry was Australia’s top-selling mid-size car for the 18th year in a row – an unbroken run that began in 1994. The seventh-generation Camry went on sale in late 2011 and will be followed by the Camry Hybrid in 2012.

Toyota was the only manufacturer with three vehicles among the top 10 sellers – HiLux, Corolla and Camry.

HiLux two-wheel drive, HiLux four-wheel drive, Camry, LandCruiser wagon and HiAce bus were all leaders in their respective market segments in 2011.

Mr Buttner said Toyota was Australia’s leading automotive exporter with Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion sedans shipped to the Middle East and other markets.

Volkswagen Continues Record-Breaking Australian Sales Growth in 2011

Volkswagen Group Australia has once again recorded solid sales growth in 2011, topping all-time sales figures for the brand in Australia.

Overall sales for the Volkswagen brand in Australia of 44,740 vehicles (38,109 Passenger Vehicles, 4,627 Commercial Vehicles), exceeded 2010’s record of 38,016 by 6,724 vehicles (18%).

Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director, Anke Koeckler, commented: “2011 has been another good year for Volkswagen. We have seen sales grow steadily which reflects not only our appealing vehicles but the dedication of our growing dealer network. With several exciting new models planned in 2012, I am confident this year will see Volkswagen vehicles in even more new customers’ driveways.”

On top of record total sales, Volkswagen also achieved solid results for across its key models.

The sixth generation Golf, Volkswagen Group Australia’s most popular model in the range, achieved a new record high of 18,383 sales in 2011, and was supported by the strong performance of the Polo (36.4% year-on-year increase) and Passat (31.5% year-on-year increase).

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles consolidated its market share in 2011’s challenging light commercial vehicle sector. The Caddy range achieved 2,206 sales, while the popular new Amarok sold a total of 2,649 units.