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Trevor Collett | Oct 5, 2016

While it might yet miss out on a podium finish in the 2016 sales race, Mazda’s small car volume-seller - the slinky Mazda3 - has signalled that it isn’t done yet, taking top spot in September sales.

VFACTS new car sales figures for September put the Mazda3 in first place, chalking up 3941 sales ahead of its main rival - the Toyota Corolla, second on 3423 sales.

But while it was nudged aside in monthly sales, the small Toyota has overtaken its stablemate in the HiLux to seize the overall lead for 2016 sales year-to-date (YTD).

HiLux was third for September on 3209 sales, giving it an overall year-to-date total of 30,827 units - now behind Corolla on 30,948 and ahead of the next-best Hyundai i30 on 29,678.

After a much quieter August for the i30 than what we’ve come to expect in 2016, and a fifth-place finish last month, the gap between Mazda3 and i30 for the bronze medal has closed to 1330 sales.

Of course the i30 is in runout as Hyundai prepares for an all-new model, but it isn’t the only model kicking goals for the Korean carmaker with the Tucson SUV (2209 sales) and Accent light car (2189) rounding out last month’s top-ten in ninth and tenth respectively.

For Mazda, its CX-5 easily retained its position as Australia’s best-selling SUV with 2662 sales and a sixth-place finish.

The rest of the top-ten is made up of Ford’s Ranger pickup (2903 sales - fourth), the Holden Commodore (2366 sales - seventh) and the Mitsubishi Triton (2246 sales - eighth). Top-ten finishers from last month - Toyota’s Camry and LandCruiser, along with Mitsubishi’s ASX - faded outside the top-ten for September.

Commodore has slipped outside the top-five for much of 2016, after occupying a top-five spot more often than not since the release of the VF model in 2013.

But Commodore still commands the lion’s share of the large car segment, well ahead of next-best Ford Falcon on 462 sales in the Falcon’s final production days on Planet Earth.

With the Falcon soon to be gone, Commodore may experience a slight resurgence as the remaining Falcon buyers shift to the natural alternative.

A challenge from the other large car contenders in Australia to Commodore’s crown seems unlikely, with the Toyota Aurion (310 units), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (127) and Skoda Superb (70) being the best of the rest for September.

Of the main segments, the only one to experience a fall in sales over the same time last year is passenger cars. SUVs along with both light and heavy commercials are all ahead of their positions last year.

The only classes to break the mould in the passenger car segment are people movers, up 11.4 percent, and sports cars - up 18.5 percent.

The Kia Carnival has a commanding lead over the Honda Odyssey in the people-mover segment, both for September and 2016 year-to-date, while Hyundai’s iMax was fourth last month and is third overall YTD.

A rise in sports car sales over 2015 can be attributed to just two segment contenders - the Ford Mustang and Mazda’s MX-5.

Mustang has owned the segment under $80,000 since the first example was sold in Australia, commanding a 33 percent share. But while the MX-5 is also contributing to a boost in sports car sales, it has been outsold by Toyota’s 86 and the Hyundai Veloster for the YTD in 2016.

Overall, it’s Toyota that leads the pack on 155,179 sales having sold 16,716 units last month. Mazda was the only other carmaker to shift more than 10,000 units last month (12,009) and is second overall YTD on 90,700.

MORE News & Reviews: VFACTS | Toyota | Mazda | Commodore

Top 10 Selling Brands - September 2016

  1. Toyota - 16,716 sales (up 3.7 percent YTD)
  2. Mazda - 12,009 (up 5.5 percent)
  3. Hyundai - 9319 (up 0.5 percent)
  4. Holden - 8564 (down 7.2 percent)
  5. Ford - 7280 (up 18.7 percent)
  6. Mitsubishi - 6701 (up 3.6 percent)
  7. Nissan - 5177 (up 4.2 percent)
  8. Volkswagen - 4380 (down 9.8 percent)
  9. Subaru - 4050 (up 8.9 percent)
  10. Honda - 3783 (down 2.5 percent)

Top 10 Selling Models - September 2016

  1. Mazda3 - 3941 (28,348 sales YTD)
  2. Toyota Corolla - 3423 (30,948)
  3. Toyota HiLux - 3209 (30,827)
  4. Ford Ranger - 2903 (26,940)
  5. Hyundai i30 - 2741 (29,678)
  6. Mazda CX-5 - 2662 (19,090)
  7. Holden Commodore - 2366 (19,541)
  8. Mitsubishi Triton - 2246 (17,338)
  9. Hyundai Tucson - 2209 (14,696)
  10. Hyundai Accent - 2189 (13,369)
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