VFACTS February: Mazda's Giant Killing Ways, Now Number Two In Australia

Tim O'Brien | Mar 6, 2014


With its best February on record, Mazda Australia has moved into number two spot in the Australian market behind Toyota.

Significantly, it is now - for the first time ever - into double figures for market share, holding 11.0 percent of the Australian market year-to-date (YTD) and 10.6 percent for February.

For this 'smaller than the average bear' Japanese manufacturer, in a total market that is down 3.8 percent for the month and 3.7 percent year to date, that is a remarkable performance.

It also underscores the anomaly that is the Australian market for 'Toyo Kogyo', Mazda Motor Corporation, and its global footprint.

In no other market anywhere is Mazda such a force.

But Australian buyers like and respect Mazda products. From the Mazda2 to the CX-5, they have a dynamism and feel that is more-typically European, but with the suspension travel, comfort and reliability that suits Australia's harsher, and harder, road conditions.

The CX-5, with 1752 sales last month and 3,605 sales year-to-date is the country's top-selling SUV. The BT-50 pickup, with 1248 February sales also performed strongly, just pipping the Mazda2 with 1242 sales.

Jack and the bean-stalk

It is almost unthinkable, but little Mazda is in hot pursuit of giant Toyota, and now, while not yet snapping at the heels, is at least in the same straight as its adversary.

Mazda, with a vastly smaller range, has sold 18,582 cars for January and February (up 5.3 percent). Toyota dealers, with a far larger model range sitting across many more segments, sold 29,846 vehicles for the same period (up, but just slightly, an improvement of 1.5 percent on 2013).

Toyota's lead and 2014 tally is placing it in line for a 12th consecutive year as Australia's best-selling automotive brand.

But, at 17.6 percent market share for this year - a 6.6 percent gap over Mazda, and narrowing - it may be slowly losing its grip on the 20 percent (plus or minus) market share it has enjoyed for the better part of 25 years.

'May be', of course, are the operative words there.

Toyota has a number of cars in its current line-up becoming due for replacement, the segment-leading HiLux among them (with 3348 sales in February).

And, with a new Kluger coming next week, it will soon have some fresh ammunition in its armoury.

Holden, perhaps a little surprisingly, although displaced by Mazda for second place by the barest of margins, has managed to hold onto its market share (up from 9.4 percent YTD 2013, to 10.4 percent YTD 2014), ditto Ford at 7.7 percent YTD, down a marginal 0.41 percent.

Blood on the tracks

It is in the minor placings where things are getting interesting. Both Nissan and Mitsubishi are flagging, level-pegging on 5.2 percent market share YTD (nearly exactly half Mazda's 11.0 percent YTD, and down from 8.8 percent last year, Nissan, and from 6.0 percent, Mitsubishi).

In both Nissan and Mitsubishi's case, it's the light commercial sector that's knocking them about.

Sales of the ageing Navara, and the equally-aged Triton, have nose-dived. The Navara 4X4 is down 49.5 percent YTD, the Navara 4X2 down 61.2 percent.

For the Triton, the story is a little more mixed: down 40.2 percent for the volume-selling 4X4, but up 34.2 for the lesser 4X2.

What's happening in this segment is that the HiLux is holding its own with a dominant 3348 sales, but the Ranger is gathering pace with 1901 sales; so too the Colorado with 1471 sales for February and BT-50 with 1248 sales.

These Johnny-come-latelies are not troubling HiLux greatly, but taking great chunks out of the market share of the once-powerful Navara and steady Triton.

Top Ten sales for light commercial vehicles for February 2014 (combining 4X4 and 4X2 sales)

  1. Toyota HiLux: 3348 sales
  2. Ford Ranger: 1901 sales
  3. Holden Colorado: 1471 sales
  4. Nissan Navara: 1264 sales
  5. Mazda BT-50: 1248 sales
  6. Mitsubishi Triton: 1227 sales
  7. Isuzu D-Max: 797 sales
  8. VW Amarok: 623 sales
  9. Landcruiser ute: 590 sales
  10. Great Wall V200: 150 sales

Believe it or not, something we thought we might never see, but both Volkswagen Amarok and Landcruiser Ute beat Holden Ute, 458 sales, and Falcon Ute, 232 sales. We live in unusual times.

Also interesting is that Ford Ranger with 1901 sales - Ford Australia's top-selling car - outsold the combined total of Falcon and Territory, 549 sales and 789 respectively, and also outsold Focus, 1355 sales.

Who would ever have thunk that?

Top Ten selling vehicles for February 2014

  1. Mazda3: 3969 sales
  2. Toyota HiLux: 3348 sales
  3. Toyota Corolla: 3332 sales
  4. Holden Commodore: 2777 sales.
  5. Hyundai i30: 2372 sales
  6. Ford Ranger: 1901 sales
  7. Toyota Camry: 1891 sales
  8. Volkswagen Golf: 1780 sales
  9. Mazda CX-5: 1752 sales
  10. Toyota RAV4: 1614 sales

Where's the Cruze? Down a few more places with 1433 sales, alongside Ford's excellent Focus with less, 1355 sales.

(It has to be asked: does Ford know how to market a strong product portfolio? Update: Ford has today confirmed a commitment to a great focus on marketing.)

The most interesting remaining observations is that the Malibu is a disaster for Holden with 115 sales (cobwebs are growing over the scorer there), and - astonishingly - we have a Jeep pressing for entry to the top ten.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is now outselling the Prado by a comfortable margin and, with 1370 sales in February and 46 percent growth in sales YTD, it's going to gatecrash the top ten in a month or three.

Something else we'd never have thunk.

Tim O'Brien
TMR Managing Editor

Filed under: Featured, new car sales, Mazda, mazda6, vfacts, mazda3, News, mazda cx-5, tim o'brien, editorial

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  • FrugalOne says,
    2 years ago
    GAME ON!!

    hahaha mazda overtaking BIG.T[tm.F/0] dont think so

    Its about time Toyota *for once* flex some muscle stop being mr.nice-guy and crush mazda [as a bit of sport] they could buy that company with its petty cash [most likely spend more or just the staff gym] and dump the stock BECAUSE THEY CAN

    They will OBEY Toyota or will be purchased as Toyota did with Subaru

    Thank God Mitsubishi GROUP is huge otherwise it too would be bullied if Toyota feels like it
    • MotorMouth says,
      2 years ago
      Toyota do not own Subaru, it is part of Fuji Heavy industries, in which Toyota has just a 16% stake. Nissan used to own 20% of it but they sold that to GM, who divested themselves of it about 10 years ago.
      • FrugalOne says,
        2 years ago
        Toyota do not own Subaru, it is part of Fuji Heavy industries, in which Toyota has just a 16% stake. Nissan used to own 20% of it but they sold that to GM, who divested themselves of it about 10 years ago.

        They, BIG.T run the show, FHI was close to broke and BIG.T saved them [google that] the first joint venture will be what BIG.T say which will be a new Tribeca rebaged Kluger

    • MotorMouth says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      Mazda always look the goods early in the year when fleet buyers are on holidays but by mid-year things will have settled and they'll be back in 4th place.

      What will be interesting is to see what happens with Toyota and Holden when local manufacturing ceases. It has previously had a devastating effect on sales for companies like Mitsubishi and Datsun (Nissan). I reckon 2018 will be Mazda's big opportunity to climb the sales ladder. I doubt they'll challenge Toyota but they are a shoo-in to overtake Holden and could well end up ahead of Hyundai, too.
      • matt says,
        2 years ago
        back in 4th place? they were 3rd in total last year. 9000 ish behind holden, about 6000 ahead of hyundai.
  • 5valvepercylinder
    5 valve per cylinder says,
    2 years ago
    Good on Mazda.

    Especially now they are standing on their own. No partners whatsoever, designing, building everything from scratch.
  • Wheresbear says,
    2 years ago
    Good too see Mazda thrashing try hards like Nissan & Mitsubishi.bleh These two brands make perfectly competent products (for the most part - but the Nissan Juke - really???) Mitsubishi push old outdated products which aren't cutting it any more and all they can do is discount, discount, discount to keep them viable. Sure the Mazda 2 and 3 are long in the tooth but right up to the end they keep selling in volume. I'd love to the the numbers sold of the top 10 brands with the fleet sales taken out ...
    • Harry says,
      2 years ago
      Agree with these comments, but you left our how bad Honda has become.

      The new Pulsar and Civic are laughable compared to the new Mazda 3. Yet they are very similar in price.

      I can see the Civic (sedan) and Pulsar sales plummet now that the 3 has been released.

      Why they don't release a Civic refresh like North America did 12 months ago is beyond me.
  • Doctor says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    I can't believe that so many sheeple bought RAV4/7s.
    Also Ateco must be crying with Great Wally heading south like Chery (although it never headed north)- what has it left in is stable that's selling?
    Finally, Tojo hasn't taken over Subaru but has a small shareholding and commercial arrangement - hence the 86. The only desirable Toyotas have been the ones made by Yamaha and Subaru or had engines made or tweaked by Yamaha. If Tojo's product was half as good as its production methods it'd be great but its not. That's not to say its product is bad - its just bland like Electrolux's.
  • PeterC says,
    2 years ago
    You're 100% right about Ford not knowing how to market their products Tim. I've just bought a Focus ST and found it to be such a brilliant car - so comfortable, well made and has fantastic performance, but also with an agressive sporty look that the Gti lacks. Their range is solid even with the old Territory. The Fiesta is top of the class, as is the generation-old Mondeo and despite the closure of the plant, the Falcon is the best large car they've ever had. The Ranger is also the best looking and one of the most capable of all the utes as well. The tinny and awkward looking EcoSport is the one blip on their product radar. Ford's products should be flying off the showroom floor yet they continue to drop market share.

    Ford need some hero cars - like the Mustang we've been told is coming back. Bring back the F150 as well - it looks great and commands attention on the road. The new Mondeo looks to be the best in the class and if the Falcon update looks similar (as rumoured) it will go out on a high. There are not too many manufacturers that have the extensive history of Ford and that should be recognised.

    If you're reading this Ford, focus (sic) on your achievements to-date, give us your hero cars and show Australia how good the products you make really are!
    • ronnie says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      marketing people of FORD australia should let the public know that the focus is the best selling car in the world two years in the running,it is a great product...biggrinrolleyesbleh
      • Mike Stevens
        Mike Stevens [TMR] says,
        2 years ago
        Toyota disputes that. Focus is the best selling nameplate or badge in the world, but Toyota says it sells the Corolla in various names around the world and that if they all wore 'Corolla' badges, it would be the top seller.
  • Grumps
    Grumps says,
    2 years ago
    "(It has to be asked: does Ford know how to market a strong product portfolio?)"

    Marketing has always (and appears to always will be) a major failure for Ford.

  • Harry says,
    2 years ago
    Good on Mazda for shaking them all up.

    I am in the market for a small/medium (Civic, Mazda 3) car.

    Comparing the Civic which 'was' know for quality, technology and features to the Mazda 3 is amazing. The Civic has cheaper harder plastic than Hyundai Accent/i30, and nowhere near as many features as the 3, or even compared to the Civic sedan in North America.

    So, my point is, Mazda is giving us the features and quality of larger more expensive cars, in smaller, more affordable variants.

    Honda on the other hand has lost the plot and doesn't even register on the list.
  • Chest Rockjaw says,
    2 years ago
    I like competition... Toyota need to do better than the current Corolla... They need a Golf killing car. Toyota can easily dispense the Golf and the 3... Instead they chose to be conservative.
    • FrugalOne says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      I like competition... Toyota need to do better than the current Corolla... They need a Golf killing car. Toyota can easily dispense the Golf and the 3... Instead they chose to be conservative.

      BIG.T do NOT have to do any better with the Corolla, its the #1 seller on the planet, how could one do any better than that?
      • Anthony says,
        2 years ago
        And with the brand new sedan version just released,Corolla range has a very bright future ahead...
    • Lindsay says,
      2 years ago
      I'll bet Toyota has a better idea of how to make as much money as possible in the Corolla's segment than you do.
  • BenMorang says,
    2 years ago
    Mazda build crap cars, I work on them every day and when I pull one apart to fit a towbar I always find embedded rust, one of my customers bought an Maz3 MPS and when I pulled it apart the rust was so severe a wire wheel could get it off, sent photo's to Mazda and they said too bad, it's not penetrating rust so no warranty. The customer traded it in two years later and bought a Subaru Liberty and still has it to this day five years later. Mazda's production process has flaws, they won't listen and don't care. Cheap tinny trash.
    • Balthazaaaaargh says,
      2 years ago
      Sounds like you're talking ancient history to me... five years, plus two years, plus however many years before it needed you to "pull it apart".

      What was he doing with it, towing a boat maybe?
  • Stephen Woods says,
    2 years ago
    The latest Corolla (Hatchback) is not as good as the Hyundai i30. The interior is bland, the ergonomics not as good as the Hyundai, the touch screen is in a bad position and difficult to read (my work Camry Hybrid has the same screen but in a better position) the boot is smaller than the i30 (98 litres smaller) and the fuel economy poorer (actual 6.1 l/100kms versus 5.8 l/100kms) on a long trip. Warranty is shorter, more expensive to maintain (service every 6mths 10000kms). Toyota sell more cars as they spend more on advertising than anyone else. Hyundai/Kia group is the company that Toyota and all others need to watch out for.
  • Buzz says,
    2 years ago
    Totally agree with comments about Ford not knowing how to market their own products. For many years the Falcon has been an excellent product. A recent stint in an XR6 hire car re-confirmed the point for me. Yet it was invisible in the media! Same goes for Mondeo and Focus.
    • matt says,
      2 years ago
      try owning one long term, had a demo BA for a work car, transmission was about to die at 130,000, went through 3 power steering pumps warrenty luckily, some issue with the throttle where it would cut out when warming up that ford could never fix (couple of scary moments pulling into a roundabout), Centre stack with CD player and air con died (again lucky with warrenty or would of been 4k apparently) AC died after 4 years. Wouldnt touch one again, my second car EF XR6 was faultless, (appart from AC) lots of people bought a BA and they would of been burned.
      • Ben says,
        2 years ago
        XD: 320,000km, EA: 300,000km, EF: 265,000km,
        AUii: 270,000km, FG: 110,000km
        That's over 1.25 million km in Falcons.
        Other than regular maintenance the only issues in that time have been 1 head gasket, 1 alternator, steering rack seal and half a set of diff bushes.

        That makes Long term ownership prety damn good!

        Pity I couldn't say the same about the engine reguilds for 2 of the 4 Toyotas I've owned.
        • matt says,
          2 years ago
          be thankful you missed the BA series then, forgot to mention, brakes seemed to warp every 10,000 kays, buckets of crap, i had the EF from 220,000 kays up till 375,000, when i sold it i got asked a couple of times if it was a company car lol, hard sell with that many kays back then though, let it go for 3k to some young fella