The Toyota HiLux ute lead from the front again in 2017 as it helped propel the local new car market to another record year of sales with a total of 1,189,116 vehicles sold throughout the year, according to data provided by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.
With sales totaling 47,093, the HiLux holds a commanding lead over the next most popular vehicle the Ford Ranger ute which totaled 42,728 registrations in 2017.
Both vehicles experience strong growth, with sales up by almost 20 per cent compared to 2016. This also helped the light commercial segment expand by 8.6 per cent from the previous year.
Mitsubishi's Triton ute helped bookend the 2017 sales chart for the light commercial segment, with a total 23,605 units finding a new home this year.
However, the highest selling car segment in Australia is still small passenger cars, which had total sale of 220,149. This was in large part thanks to the Toyota Corolla (37,353), Mazda3 (32,690) and the Hyundai i30 (28,780). Though, even these three cars – which occupy positions third, fourth and fifth on the sales chart – were not enough to stop the rot in passenger car which recorded a 7.5 per cent drop in sales during 2017.
The cause of this drop is due to the rampaging sales of mid-size SUVs - and to a lesser extent city SUVs - which experienced growth of 13.6 per cent in 2017. The strong result was helped by the usual players; the Mazda CX-5 (25,831) and Hyundai Tucson (23,828). Both cars grew their registrations by 5.2 and 18.4 per cent compared to last year.
Several other SUV models featured just outside the top 10 sellers list, with the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail both selling well. While the Mitsubishi ASX and Mazda CX-3 dominated the city SUV segment.
The fall of the Australian automotive manufacturing industry was represented in the continual decline in sales of two former Australian family car bulwarks; the Holden Commodore (23,676) and Toyota Camry (23,620). Both vehicles experience a sales decline of about 10 per cent and with both cars no longer being produced locally, neither is likely to feature on this list in 2018.
However, the last month of 2017 provided a bright spot for Holden with three vehicles making it into the top 10 sellers for the month. The biggest surprise was the Holden Astra setting a blistering end to 2017 with 3533 sales, good enough for second place in December. The Holden Commodore (2229) and Colorado (3222) also sold well.
Other prominent sellers in December were the Toyota HiLux (3949), Ford Ranger (3458) and the Mazda3 (2807), which rounded out the top five for the final month of the year. In a surprising result the Hyundai i30, usually a stalwart of the top 10, dropped off in December with only 1467 unit moved.
Best selling cars of 2017
1. Toyota HiLux – 47,093
2. Ford Ranger – 42,728
3. Toyota Corolla – 37,353
4. Mazda3 – 32,690
5. Hyundai i30 – 28,780
6. Mazda CX-5 – 25,831
7. Hyundai Tucson – 23,828
8. Holden Commodore – 23,676
9. Toyota Camry – 23,620
10. Mitsubishi Triton – 23,605
Best selling brands in 2017
1. Toyota – 216,566
2. Mazda – 116,349
3. Hyundai – 97,013
4. Holden – 90,306
5. Mitsubishi – 80,654
6. Ford – 78,161
7. Volkswagen – 58,004
8. Nissan – 56,594
9. Kia – 54,737
10. Subaru – 52,511
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries